One of the worst kept-secrets in Penticton is now official.
City councillor Tarik Sayeed has announced he will be running for the NDP nomination in November, to become the party’s candidate in the May 2017 B.C. provincial election.
“It is time to level the playing field between the powerful and the powerless. And today, I have made a decision to run for the BC NDP nomination to become the next MLA in our provincial election,” said Sayeed.
Sayeed will be competing for the nomination against Toni Boot, currently a councillor for the District of Summerland. A third possible candidate, Hilma Labelle, withdrew her name last month.
Sayeed said just deciding to seek the nomination wasn’t enough; he wanted to show he was worthy and had earned it.
“I took a grass root-level approach to connect with hundreds of citizens over the past several months,” said Sayeed. “The message was loud and clear: you do not need to be a career politician to be an MLA. Rather, citizens need someone who will listen to them, and fight for them, for the right causes.”
Sayeed, originally from Bangladesh, said he was born into a strong political family where his grandfather was a freedom fighter, his uncle helped pen the constitution of Bangladesh and his cousins hold ranks such as mayor, MLA and MP.
“I essentially grew up and was nurtured under the same ideological values similar to the BC NDP. Therefore, it is only a natural transition that I unite with the principles of the BC NDP,” said Sayeed.
Like Boot, Sayeed is in his first term as a city councillor. He is also on the board of directors for the Penticton and District Community Resource Society and PENMAR Community Arts Society as well as being one of the founding members of Penticton’s ONEWorld Festival.
Sayeed has over 12 years of management experience working with First West Credit Union and other international technology companies. In 2014, joined the ranks of the Top 40 under 40, a partnered event sponsored by the Chamber, JCI Penticton and the Western News, recognizing community leaders who have contributed to Penticton and demonstrated achievements in: community service, entrepreneurship, innovation and success.
Greg McGowan, president of the BC NDP constituency association for the Penticton riding, has said there is the possibility for still more candidates to come forward before the riding holds its nomination meeting and vote on Nov. 26.