Bob Axworthy is the Liberal Party's candidate in the Sept. 4 byelection for Fort Whyte.
Credits: HANDOUT PHOTO
Axworthy formally entered the race for the traditional Conservative riding of Fort Whyte on Wednesday. A Sept. 4 byelection will fill the void left when former Tory leader Hugh McFadyen resigned that post.
The brother of longtime federal MP and minister Lloyd Axworthy said he's not nervous to compete against Manitoba's new Tory leader Brian Pallister for the riding, who still needs a seat in the legislature to lead his party.
"I'm optimistic that the people of Fort Whyte will listen to a message that just maybe there's a new way of thinking and a new kind of politician and let's give him a try," he said.
Axworthy, an inner city basketball coach, youth mentor and former beverage company owner, said living in the riding for 13 years gives him an advantage over his opponents.
He framed Brian Pallister, who now lives in Winnipeg's Charleswood area, as a community outsider.
"I understand he needs a riding, but does he understand what Fort Whyte is, what that community is?" asked Axworthy, noting traffic congestion on Kenaston Boulevard and a lack of daycare spaces as key issues.
Pallister's team said he was too busy to speak to media Wednesday.
NDP candidate Brandy Schmidt will take on the two well-known challengers in her first political race.
"I think it just makes it a little bit more exciting," Schmidt said. "With the higher profile, hopefully we'll get more voters out."