Sue Hammell taking a bow from political life to spend more time with her family.
The veteran NDP MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers announced Wednesday she would not seek another term in provincial office.
“It’s been an incredible privilege to serve the constituents of Surrey-Green Timbers over the last 20 years. I am excited and energized heading into the new year, and was looking forward to joining BC’s next Premier, John Horgan, in government, however my husband’s recent serious illness means I must devote more time to my family,” Hammell said.
Hammell had been described by political opponents as one of the best political strategists in Surrey.
She first made her mark prior to 1991 as executive assistant to then-Mayor Bob Bose.
Her political work in provincial government was swift.
~Infogram courtesy of CBC
She took the 1991 and 1996 elections for Surrey-Green Timbers by healthy margins, against Liberals Archibald McMurchy and Bill Phelps, respectively.
She fell victim to a Liberal tsunami in 2001, where the NDP was reduced to two seats in the legislature. Hammell lost Green Timbers to Brenda Locke.
However, in 2005, Hammell doubled Locke at the polls, and never yielded the riding again.
Hammell served in a number of cabinet positions, including Minister of Housing, Recreation and Consumer Services, Minister Responsible for Co-Operatives and the Minister of Women’s Equality.
Most recently serving as the Official Opposition Critic for Mental Health and Substance Use.
“Tireless in her advocacy for women’s rights and BC’s families, Sue has served this province for over 20 years,” said John Horgan. “It has been an absolute pleasure to have her on our team. While I wish she was by my side as we elect a New Democrat government this coming May, family always comes first.”
Hammell said she is committed to helping elect a New Democrat government in the 2017 provincial election and will fully support the next NDP candidate for Surrey-Green Timbers.
There will be a nomination meeting at the end of the month.