MP’s staffer wants to be Conservative candidate

Mike Murray seeks nomination to run for party in fall election

MP Randy Kamp's executive assistant Mike Murray wants to run for Conservatives next election.

MP Randy Kamp's executive assistant Mike Murray wants to run for Conservatives next election.

Mike Murray wants to continue the tradition.

The former pastor, now executive-assistant to MP Randy Kamp, wants to replace Kamp as the Conservative MP, just as Kamp did in 2004, when he was executive-assistant to MP Grant McNally.

Kamp announced last week he wouldn’t be seeking a fifth term as MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge during October’s federal election.

“Serving and representing others is not new to me,” Murray said Thursday on his website, announcing that he’s seeking the Conservative nomination.

“Throughout my adult life, I have made living for others my main goal and I believe I have the life experience and skills necessary to be an effective member of parliament.

“I also want to be a voice for conservative values by promoting ‘big people’ and ‘little government.’ If elected, I will be committed to standing for democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law.”

No date has been set for a nomination meeting to select the Conservative candidate, although spring or summer is likely.

Murray may have competition as Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton is thinking of running federally. Dalton ran unsuccessfully in the 2006 federal election in Burnaby-New Westminster, losing to the NDP.

But first he has to talk B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

“However, in two to three weeks I will make a definitive statement. So that’s where I’m at,” Dalton said.

Murray has been Kamp’s assistant for the past four years, first in Ottawa, then later at Kamp’s constituency office on Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge.

He acknowledges, that gives him the inside track. But he’ll do all his campaigning for the nomination outside the office, outside work hours.

“I have total separation. I will only do nomination work after hours, pre-8 a.m. and post-4 p.m.”

Davis Friesen, who also works in Kamp’s office, is Murray’s campaign manager. And he’ll follow the same rules.

“We’re privileged, no doubt, to be the right hand people to Randy. We can’t run away from it.”

But he’s not going to blur his duties of executive-assistant with the task of seeking the nomination. That wouldn’t be fair to Kamp, he added.

Murray grew up in Richmond and earned a diploma in theology from Summit Pacific College in Abbotsford. After living in the U.K. and the U.S., he moved his family to Pitt Meadows in 2004. Like Kamp, Murray’s a former pastor. Murray served as pastor of Calvary Chapel in Pitt Meadows for seven years.

“I’ve seen first-hand what it takes to be a MP and believe that my experience in Ottawa and serving as Mr. Kamp’s executive-assistant has made me ready to serve as the next MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.”

Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge is the name of the new riding which comes into being next election and which encompasses both cities. Mission is now part of the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.