Sullivan was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 1993 as a member of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA). With twelve years of council experience, Sullivan is currently the longest-serving member of the council.
By the Styles of address of Canada , he is to be addressed as 'His Worship' while in office.
Sullivan as City Councillor
In Vancouver's 2002 General Local elections, Sam Sullivan was the only incumbent member of city council from the Non-Partisan Association to win re-election after the NPA-dominated council was defeated by the COPE party.
In 2004, he took on the leadership role of the 'No' side for the Vancouver wards referendum, in the fight against a proposed ward voting system which was to replace the current at-large system of choosing councillors. The proposal was eventually defeated 54% to 46%.
2005 Mayoral Race
Following the 2002 electoral losses, the Non-Partisan Association rebuilt its slate for 2005. Several high-profile names were nominated to be the NPA mayoral candidate. One of the most prominent contenders was the former BC Liberal Party deputy-Premier Christy Clark. Sullivan defeated Clark to become the moderate, pro-business, NPA mayoral candidate.
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