Vancouver Island Party candidate withdraws from provincial race in Saanich riding

Vancouver Island Party candidate withdraws from provincial race in Saanich riding

We hardly knew ya, David Costigane.

The fourth and final candidate for the Vancouver Island Party has withdraw his candidacy two days after appearing on the final list of provincial election candidates running in the Saanich riding of Victoria Swan Lake.

Costigane said Thursday morning that he would be withdrawing from the race because of a conflict of interest. He refused to specify the nature of this conflict when asked a follow-up question.

The Vancouver Island Party announced Costigane’s candidacy Wednesday but questions about its seriousness arose immediately when the party did not provide a photo of Costigane, citing military regulations.

The Saanich News could not independently confirm or deny the veracity of this claim and Vancouver Island Party party leader Robin Richardson referred questions about it to Costigane.

When the Saanich News reached Costigane Wednesday afternoon, he sounded hardly enthusiastic about running.

“I’m not actively campaigning,” he said in responding to an email asking for additional information about his candidacy. “Thanks for the interest.”

Costigane eventually responded to follow up questions Thursday morning by announcing his withdrawal from the race.

Costigane’s fly-by-night candidacy leaves the party with three candidates running in Vancouver Island’s 14 ridings. Two of those ridings include Saanich.

Richard Pattee is running in Saanich South and Jin Dong Yang-Riley is running in Oak Bay Gordon Head.

A third candidate — Willie Nelson — is running for the Vancouver Island Party in Juan de Fuca, the riding of New Democratic leader John Horgan.

Richardson said in an interview Wednesday that his party had thoroughly vetted all candidates and praised their quality.

“I’m happy with our candidates and we are establishing a beachhead here,” said Richardson.