Demonstrating the free spirit that led him to sit as an independent MLA, David Mitchell last week announced that he will not seek re-election in the next provincial election.
"This is a personal decision made despite strong encouragement and kind words of support from many constituents who have urged me to run once again," he said in a press release.
Later, Mitchell said it was never his intention to seek re-election, although he admitted he was tempted.
"I feel I would have had a very good chance of winning if I ran again," he said.
He also said he had been wooed by every party in the legislature, at one time or another.
Mitchell, who was elected as a Liberal in the October 1991 provincial election but left the Liberal caucus 14 months later to sit as an independent, was expected to be in a tough fight with Ted Nebbeling for the West Vancouver-Garibaldi seat in the next election. Whistler Mayor Nebbeling began working on his campaign two years ago. He secured the Liberal nomination for the riding in November 1994.
Nebbeling suggested Mitchell saw the writing on the wall for the next election. He said the Liberals have polled approximately 11,000 households in the riding and 56 per cent strongly support or support his candidacy.
In the legislature, Mitchell served as Opposition House Leader, critic for Advanced Education, Training and Technology and as a member of several legislative committees, including the Members Committee on the Constitution, the Select Standing Committees on Parliamentary Reform, Economic Development and Aboriginal Affairs.
An author and historian, Mitchell intends to return to writing, including contributing commentaries to various newspapers.
A provincial election is expected to be called shortly after next week’s NDP leadership convention.