HALIFAX — Claudia Chender is the unopposed candidate running to be the next leader of Nova Scotia’s New Democratic Party.
Chender, a lawyer who was first elected in 2017 and now represents the riding of Dartmouth South, said in an interview she's humbled by the "overwhelming" support from her party.
The deadline to enter the leadership race passed Saturday afternoon with Chender as the sole registered candidate.
"I feel really honoured to be close to taking on this role," she said, but added her campaign is not over.
While she is the only candidate, Chender cannot be confirmed as leader until a vote at the party convention. Online voting will get underway on June 20 and wrap up at the convention on June 25.
Until then, Chender said she will continue to travel the province and speak to as many members as possible.
"My primary job is to earn the trust that people have placed in me," she said.
Her conversations with party members across the province have exposed some common themes, she said.
"Our health care system continues to deteriorate, and I think it's getting to the point where it's really scary for a lot of people," she said.
"We're also, of course, hearing about the rapid rise of the cost of living: Everything from gas to groceries to power."
Chender said health care access, cost of living, and tackling climate change will remain top priorities for the party.
The NDP's current leader Gary Burrill announced in November he would be stepping back from the leadership role he’s held since 2016.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2022.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press