This has never been about me,” he said.
“I have tried to make my leadership a statement about the strength of my colleagues and our ability to work collaboratively to get good outcomes for the people that we represent.”
But the leadership of B.C. the last five years has been about John Horgan.
And how his tenure is remembered will be subject to debate in the coming months — both by members of the public, and the people hoping to replace him.
We brought our values, which I believe are mainstream values,” said Horgan, emphasizing the word “mainstream.”
“I’ve said B.C. is filled with New Democrats, they just don’t know it yet. And the more people see our compassionate and competent group of people addressing issues as they emerge, they’ll continue to support that.”
University of British Columbia political scientist Gerald Baier said Horgan succeeded in branding the NDP as an option to enough voters who traditionally might not have voted for them.
Which leads to the inevitable question of what happens next, and how would-be candidates see the Horgan legacy.
With internal speculation over Horgan’s departure ongoing for most of the last year, several cabinet ministers have been floated as potential candidates, including Ravi Kahlon, David Eby and Nathan Cullen, Adrian Dix, Selina Robinson and Melanie Mark.
In areas where Horgan’s legacy is secure, there will likely be little disagreement.
“This has been a pragmatic, centrist version of the NDP. The next leader may want to be a little more aggressive, a little more bold in some of their policy innovations,” said Simon Fraser University political scientist Stewart Prest.
“That may not land the same way with the electorate. So there’s a real decision there.”
Those are potential questions in the months ahead. Today, the NDP is celebrating the most politically successful premier they’ve ever known.