Furlong won’t enter NDP race

Alex Furlong won't run in the NDP's upcoming leadership race. The president of the Yukon Federation of Labour has been touted as a possible candidate ever since Todd Hardy, the party's outgoing leader,

Alex Furlong won’t run in the NDP’s upcoming leadership race.

The president of the Yukon Federation of Labour has been touted as a possible candidate ever since Todd Hardy, the party’s outgoing leader, announced in February he would step down because of his deteriorating health. Hardy has leukemia.

Furlong considered his candidacy over July and August. But, having returned from vacation in Newfoundland with his wife and three young children, he announced late Monday afternoon that his family would take priority over his political ambitions, for now.

“I’m busy enough right now,” he said. “That’s why I don’t envy politicians. It’s 24/7.”

He’s currently content with his ability to “affect change” as the territory’s labour boss, Furlong added.

Furlong’s decision leaves Elizabeth Hanson the uncontested leadership candidate. Just four days remain for NDP members to challenge her.

Hanson, who long served as Yukon’s top federal bureaucrat, made her leadership bid in late July, just days after Mount Lorne MLA Steve Cardiff withdrew his name from the leadership race.

Cardiff has never explained why he dropped out of the contest.

NDP members will hold their leadership convention on September 26.

Furlong won’t yet rule out the possibility of running as the NDP’s candidate in the next federal election. But if the writ is dropped for a federal election this autumn, “the chances are I will not run,” he said.

He expects a job in Ottawa would require even more work and travel than a seat in the Whitehorse legislature.

“Timing is everything in politics,” he said. “My kids need to be a little bit older.”

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

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