WINNIPEG - Longtime Manitoba New Democrat backbencher Jim Maloway is trying to once again make the leap from the legislature to the House of Commons.
Maloway, 61, said Tuesday he is seeking the federal NDP nomination in Elmwood-Transcona, a Winnipeg riding that includes his current provincial constituency of Elmwood. Maloway spent 22 years in the legislature before winning the federal seat in 2008, only to lose it in 2011 by 300 votes to Conservative Lawrence Toet.
"Since we lost by such a close amount, the phone calls keep coming," Maloway said, referring to some residents who think he is still their federal representative.
Maloway ran for provincial office later in 2011 and won. He said his return to provincial politics was prompted by party supporters.
"It was really not necessarily something I wanted to do, but there was a demand out there."
Maloway recently sent out a pamphlet to some area residents which says he has continued to address national issues, even while sitting as a provincial politician. The brochure cites government pensions and home-mail delivery as examples.
Maloway has no intention of resigning his seat in the legislature in the near future. He said he might stay on until the federal election, currently slated for the fall of 2015, is called and focus on his federal aspirations on nights and weekends.
"When you campaign for this stuff, you do not campaign during the day anyway. I mean, people aren't around. Basically, your heavy campaigning is in the evening and weekends and stuff like that."
The first hurdle for Maloway is to win the party's nomination vote next week. He said there is at least one other challenger. Calls to federal party headquarters for information on the nomination contest were not immediately returned.
Maloway is not the only politician to plan an exit from the legislature. Stuart Briese, the Progressive Conservative aboriginal and northern affairs critic, announced his intention to retire Tuesday.
Briese, who was first elected in 2007, said he will not run for re-election, but will stay on as the representative for the western Manitoba seat of Agassiz until the next provincial election is called, likely in 2016.
"I'll be 70 years old at the end of this term and ... I have a lot of things I need to do around home," the life-long farmer and former municipal councillor said.
"I've gone flat-out all my life and it's just time to slow it down a little bit."