A sixth political party has registered for the Richmond civic election and it features a pair of familiar names aiming for political comebacks.
Former B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed and former city councillor Derek Dang are running for city council on Oct. 15 under the Richmond Rise banner.
Dang and Heed’s platform is based on four elements: public safety, housing, services for senior citizens and governance.
“We need to get back to good government, one that’s not full of bureaucracy,” Heed said. “No roadblocks in place, no pointing the fingers at others, the accountability and accessibility comes right back to city council.”
The only incumbent councillor confirmed not to be running is the Richmond Citizens’ Association’s Harold Steves. Farmland protection advocate Steves is retiring after 50 years on city council, which were only interrupted by a term as an NDP MLA in Dave Barrett’s short-lived government.
Dang spent 22 years on city council, from 1996 to 2018. He lost by just 97 votes to Alexa Loo in the 2018 race for the last of eight seats available in an election that revolved around housing affordability and development on farmland. The other defeated incumbent, Ken Johnston, was among a group of investors with Dang earlier in the term in a 15-unit townhouse development on Blundell Road called Shangri-la. Both recused themselves from rezoning hearings.
Heed spent more than three decades in policing. He rose to the rank of superintendent with the Vancouver Police before joining the West Vancouver Police as chief in 2007, the first South Asian to hold the post in North America. He focused on gang and drug enforcement and the need to reform policing throughout his career.
Premier Gordon Campbell recruited him to be a star BC Liberal candidate in the 2009 election and made him solicitor general afterward. Heed stepped down from cabinet when his Vancouver-Fraserview campaign manager was found to have overspent the limit by $4,000. Chief Justice Robert Bauman ruled in 2011 that mistakes were made without Heed’s knowledge, but fined him $8,000 under the Election Act.
Heed did not run for re-election in 2013, citing Premier Christy Clark’s politics-over-governing style. Heed later spent a year as a radio talkshow host with Surrey-based Pulse FM.
Dang was first elected to city council the same year as Malcolm Brodie, who became mayor in a 2001 by-election and is running as an independent for re-election a sixth time.
“Between us, we have 113 years [living in Richmond],” Heed said.
Five other parties are registered, according to Elections BC: ONE Richmond, RITE Richmond, Richmond Citizens’ Association, Richmond Community Coalition and Richmond United.
Candidates throughout B.C. have from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9 to register for the Oct. 15 municipal ballots.