Former journalist Richard Mostyn has announced he is seeking the Liberal nomination for Whitehorse West.
Mostyn will campaign against accessibility advocate Ramesh Ferris in the first official nomination race of this election season.
In the last few years, Mostyn has served on the federal and territorial Liberal Party executives. Now, he said, he’s ready to throw his hat in the ring.
“I’m at a point in my life where I have the time to commit to this role,” he said. “My children are grown and a good portion of my adult life has been spent listening to people and championing their interests.”
Mostyn originally joined the Liberal Party in the mid-1980s, but let his membership lapse when he became a journalist. He then spent 22 years at the Yukon News, between 1989 and 2011, first as a reporter and then as editor. He renewed his party membership after leaving the newspaper in 2012. He now works as a spokesperson for the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board.
During his time as editor of the News, Mostyn was known for his strongly worded editorials, and was often critical of the Yukon Party government. The day before the 2006 territorial election, he ran a front-page editorial that concluded: “We prefer to imagine tomorrow without the Yukon Party at the helm, for the benefit of all Yukoners, not just a select few.”
In 2003, he broke the bombshell story that then-premier Dennis Fentie had spent time in prison for dealing heroin in his 20s.
But Mostyn kept his opinions to himself during his campaign announcement on Thursday afternoon, making only vague noises about his interest in education and the economy.
Still, he said he stands by much of what he’s written in the past.
“I’ve conducted myself in a public forum for almost 25 years,” he said. “There’s an awful lot of material there. A lot of it I’m very proud of, and a lot of it tells people who I am and what I believe.”
If elected, he doesn’t think he’ll find it difficult to work alongside those he’s publicly criticized.
“I worked as a journalist in a small town for more than two decades. In that time I have criticized politicians of all stripes,” he said. “And after the fact, I have always walked up to those people and shaken their hands. … I have a good working relationship across party boundaries, throughout the territory.”
Mostyn has lived in Whitehorse West since 1997. He said he briefly considered running in a different riding to avoid campaigning against Ferris, who announced his campaign last month, but decided against it.
“In the end, I decided that this is where I live and this is where I’ve wanted to run for quite some time now.”
The winner of the nomination may end up running against deputy premier Elaine Taylor, who was first elected in 2002. In 2011, Taylor was re-elected with 58 per cent of the vote. She has not yet confirmed whether she’ll run again.
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