Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced his bid to be the party’s candidate when he seeks re-election later this year.
Hu made the remarks as he visited Greater Taichung City Council Speaker Lin Shi-Chang (林士昌) and former council speaker Lin Min-lin (林敏霖) to solicit their support for his campaign.
“As a council speaker and KMT member, I definitely give my support to Hu’s bid [to get the party’s nomination],” Lin Shi-chang said.
Registration for the party primary is set to take place on Feb. 14 and Feb. 15, and Hu is expected to officially announce his candidacy today.
Deputy Greater Taichung Mayors Hsu Chung-hsiung (徐中雄) and Huang Kuo-jung (黃國榮) joined Hu as he visited the speakers, along with Deputy Minister of the Interior Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇).
Hsiao, who was mentioned as a potential candidate if Hu decided not to enter the mayoral race, said he fully backs the mayor’s move.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), who is to represent the DPP in the election, said he was not surprised at Hu’s decision.
Hu’s biggest enemy in the election is himself, because he has been mayor of the city for too long while “performing too badly,” the lawmaker said.
Meanwhile, KMT Legislator Tsai Chin-Lung (蔡錦隆), who has represented the municipality for three terms, said he will definitely enter the primary and was certain that he could defeat Hu.
Calling on the mayor and the KMT to recognize that a new political era has begun in Greater Taichung, Tsai said the KMT should arrange for Hu to serve in a central government post and let the party’s middle-aged politicians administer the city government.
The municipality needs younger, more active people to manage it, the KMT lawmaker added.
Hu served as Taichung mayor for eight years before being elected to his current post following the former city’s upgrade to a special municipality.
Ahead of this year’s elections, there have been concerns within the KMT about a lack of new talent in the constituency’s pan-blue camp under Hu’s long tenure.
The ruling party is also concerned about how it will fare in Greater Taichung, given Hu’s declining support rate as indicated in a poll conducted in December last year.