Dianne Watts came in second to Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson in the race for BC Liberal leadership. (File photo)

Watts quiet on plans

Former MP resigned seat for bid at BC Liberal leadership

Dianne Watts is keeping mum – so far – on her plans following a failed bid to win leadership of the BC Liberal Party.

The former South Surrey-White Rock Conservative MP and three-term mayor of Surrey did not respond to requests for comment by Peace Arch News press time Tuesday morning.

Her bid ended Saturday, after placing second in the race to Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson after a fifth round of voting by members.

Watts had been considered a front-runner in polling prior to the vote, and quickly established a lead that remained all the way up to the fourth round.

She was unable to gain sufficient points to end the race there, however, in spite of winning handily in the Surrey South, Surrey-White Rock and Surrey-Cloverdale ridings.

In the final round, Wilkinson clinched the race with 4,621 points to Watts’ 4,075.

Wilkinson benefited both from strong rural support, and picking up votes from supporters of Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong, after the latter was knocked off the ballot following the second round.

Vancouver-Langara MLA Mike Lee had also led Watts in voting in Surrey-Fleetwood, Surrey-Green Timbers, Surrey-Guildford, Surrey-Newton and Surrey-Panorama.

Watts announced in September that she would be resigning halfway into her first term as MP for South Surrey-White Rock, to make the bid for leadership.

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