Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) beat fellow lawmaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) in a public opinion poll to win the party’s primary for the Greater Taichung mayoral election in December, the party announced yesterday.
“Lin has won in an accumulated public opinion poll, which included surveys conducted by three companies on Monday night and pitted both candidates against Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強),” DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) told a press conference.
Lin beat Hu in support rates, 44.7 percent to 23.6 percent, while Tsai also edged Hu by 34.3 percent to 29.1 percent. Lin and Tsai were both elected in the Greater Taichung constituency in the last legislative election.
Under the DPP’s regulations, if all aspirants beat the designated rival in public opinion polls, the one with the highest support wins.
Lin, 49, said his win shows Greater Taichung residents recognized his 10 years of hard work in the constituency. He also praised Tsai’s sportsmanship throughout the primary.
However, Lin said his lead over Hu in the primary could be misleading because Greater Taichung has always been an election battleground. Complacency could be dangerous, he said.
Born and raised in Yunlin County, Lin has built up close ties with Taichung over the past decade and has always made clear his intention to run for the mayor after moving to the city.
He ran in the 2005 mayoral election, but lost to Hu. He wanted to run in 2010, but withdrew from the DPP’s primary to make way for former DPP secretary-general Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) to challenge Hu.
The Yale-educated Lin served as a consultant to the National Security Council, head of the former Government Information Office, Executive Yuan spokesperson and deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office during the 2000 to 2008 administration of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
Taichung is considered a key battleground for both the DPP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in seven-in-one special municipality elections in December.
Tsai said he was proud of what he has achieved in the 55 days since he announced on Nov. 5 that he would contest the primary.
Meanwhile, Hu remains mum on his plans.
“I am not a candidate for the mayoral election. I will not comment on the DPP primary,” he said.
The 66-year-old Hu, who served as Taichung mayor for eight years before being elected as Greater Taichung mayor following the city’s upgrade to a special municipality, has seen his support rating decline recently. The KMT has urged him to discuss his election plans amid concerns about his ratings, but he remains noncommittal.
KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said the party will spend more time finalizing its candidates for Greater Taichung and other special municipalities where the electoral situation is complicated.
Greater Taichung Deputy Mayor Shyu Jong-shyong (徐中雄) said he was willing to run for mayor, but only if Hu decides not to seek re-election.
“I think there is a 90 percent chance that Hu will seek re-election. If he decides to run, I will support him,” Shyu said.
Vice Premier Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇), and KMT Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) are also possible KMT contenders.