A reader e-mails:
The grapevine suggests Justin Lester, panicked by Nick Leggett’s rumoured entry into the race, is lining up to reveal Celia Wade-Brown’s endorsement, possibly at his formal launch as Labour’s Wellington Mayoral candidate due in the coming days. To date, Wade-Brown has indicated she intends to seek re-election, although it has long been rumoured she will bolt from the race to give her loyal deputy mayor a shot at the job.
Is the formal passing of the baton between Labour and the Greens in Wellington the kind of job-sharing Grant Robertson envisages as the “future of work”? Problem is, polls show Celia is deeply unpopular –– many consider the notorious Island Bay cycleway the death-knell of her political career –– and Lester is barely known by Wellington voters, and not especially admired among those who know him. If it turns out that the first thing voters hear about Justin Lester is that he’s Celia’s “chosen one”, it’s hard to see how it helps. He’s already being dismissed in the business community as “Justin Lester-Brown”, and a public pat on the back won’t do anything to downplay his association with an increasingly toxic incumbent. And let’s not forget, Labour came a dismal third throughout Wellington at the last election, and the decision to field a Labour-endorsed candidate is exactly what Oscar Wilde had in mind when he talked of the “triumph of hope over experience”.
Lester launches his campaign on the 3rd of April. Maybe that will be when Celia endorses him, if she does?