A United Church minister and son of a Sarnia sports hall-of-famer is running for the NDP in Sarnia-Lambton in this fall’s federal election.
Adam Kilner is the uncontested nominee, the federal riding association has announced.
A 7 p.m. nomination meeting on July 25 at The Story in downtown Sarnia has been set to make his candidacy official.
Kilner “resonates” with people, said riding association president Elleke Belet, adding he was the top pick by new riding association brass, including herself, that was established in March.
“We were very, very thrilled that he wanted to take part,” she said. “He has just such a positive energy.”
The second-youngest of 13 siblings in the Kilner family, Adam, 36, was born in Windsor and grew up in Sarnia.
He earned his masters of divinity from Emmanuel College, at Victoria University at the University of Toronto, and served congregations in Ontario and Alberta before returning in 2013 to Sarnia to serve at Dunlop United Church, where he still serves.
Kilner, who has 23 nieces and nephews, said he and nine of his siblings were fostered and adopted by his parents.
“I don’t know why they did it, but they’ve always had this kind of internalized sense that they need to give everything they have to helping others,” Kilner said.
His father Earle, a former basketball coach at the former St. Clair high school, was inducted into the Sarnia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
“Everywhere I go, people, if they see my ID – ‘Oh, Kilner, your dad taught me,’” he said.
“That’s been my story since kindergarten.”
He decided to seek election in part based on a goal to help others, and wants to use the election to share a positive vision of Sarnia-Lambton, he said.
“We really have a great opportunity to celebrate this community and to continue to sustain some progressive movement in terms of policy, in terms of innovation, in terms of accessibility and inclusion,” he said, noting recent city council decisions to mark inclusivity by raising Pride and transgender flags in June, and approving the installation of a rainbow sidewalk; and the importance of not getting left behind when it comes to renewable energy.
“I’m really excited about that,” he said.
The NDP is the last major political party to announce a candidate in the Sarnia-Lambton riding after Kilner went through central vetting for about two months, Belet said.
He was approved last week.
“With his positivity and encouragement, I think that we have a great chance with such an outstanding candidate like Adam,” she said.
Other nominees for the Oct. 21 election include Conservative and current MP Marilyn Gladu, Green Peter Smith, Liberal Carmen Lemieux, and People’s Party candidate Brian Everaert.