Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said he would “seriously consider” seeking re-election next year, adding that he would announce his decision next month, after the Lunar New Year holiday.
“I’ve promised my constituents that I will develop their city. For the betterment of Greater Taichung and its residents, I will seriously consider seeking re-election,” Hu, who had previously been tight-lipped about a possible bid, said at a gathering with reporters.
Hu confirmed that former Taichung County commissioner Chen Keng-chin (陳庚金), an influential politician in the municipality, had given his support for Hu’s bid, adding that he remained confident about winning if he runs next year.
Hu served as Taichung City mayor for eight years before being elected to his current post following the city’s upgrade to a special municipality.
There have been concerns within the KMT about a lack of talent in the constituency’s pan-blue camp under Hu’s long-term governance and the party is also concerned about how it will fare in the mayoral election, given the mayor’s declining support rates, as indicated in a poll conducted last month.
According to the poll, released by the Chinese-language United Daily News, 42 percent of respondents would vote for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), who is to represent the DPP in the Greater Taichung election, while 36 percent would support Hu if he decides to seek re-election.
Hu is under pressure from the KMT to declare his intention on whether to seek re-election as it tries to finalize its list of candidates in the special municipalities.
Vice Premier Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) has been mentioned as a potential candidate if Hu decides against joining the race.
The KMT will not finalize its candidates for other key electoral areas, including Taipei, New Taipei City (新北市), Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung, until later this year.