Update: Liberal Stewart to replace Christy Clark in Kelowna West

The byelection to replace the former premier in the Kelowna West riding is over

BC Liberal Ben Stewart is returning to the B.C. Legislature as he has regained his seat, winning a byelection in Kelowna West, the seat held by former B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

Shortly after the ballots started reporting, it was clear Stewart had the support of those who had voted. He built an early lead and ended the night with 56.46 per cent of the vote.

When all votes were counted, Stewart had 7,692 to second place finisher Shelley Cook of the NDP, who garnered 3,197 votes, 23.47 per cent of the vote.

Voter turnout came in at under 30 per cent, with just 29 per cent of voters casting a ballot for a total of 13,624 votes out of more than 46,000 eligible voters.

Green Party candidate Robert Stupka earned 1,727 votes, over 12 per cent of the vote, while BC Conservative Mark Thompson received 898 votes (seven per cent) and Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo had 110 votes (.81 per cent).

Stewart spoke to supporters at his Quails’ Gate Winery.

“It’s great to be back on Team Okanagan,” he said. “I’m humbled by the fact that the people of Kelowna West and all of the areas that are in the riding saw fit to elect me as the MLA to represent them and I look forward to doing that with the same effort I did in the past. The volunteers that worked on this campaign were second to none.”

Stewart’s closest competitor was Cook of the NDP who also ran and lost in the general election to Clark. But when Clark stepped down, the byelection was called and Stewart grabbed the Liberal nomination by acclamation.

Cook said she was disappointed but proud of the campaign she ran, saying many people told her they were voting for the NDP for the first time ever.

“It was important to get the values and what the NDP stands for out in the community,” she said. “I’m very proud of the campaign and the work that was done.”

The Green’s Stupka said voters opted for the status quo and that concerns him.

“We ran the best campaign,” he told the Capital News. “We showed Kelowna West what real representation could look like by engaging with the community on important issues with real answers. I am concerned, given the concerns raised during the campaign, if this is the future we really want.”

Stewart previously held office in Kelowna West from 2009 to 2013 where he was a Liberal cabinet minster before stepping down to allow Christy Clark to take office as B.C.’s Premier.

The win in the byelection gives the BC Liberals 42 seats in the Legislature while the NDP and Green combination has 44.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kparnell@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Lake Country powwow brings together community

The 23rd annual Winter Family Gathering Traditional Pow Wow was held Nov. 17

Beat the Mondays: Trapped in Bali? Lessons learned from an erupting volcano

Gina Petrovich is a travel writer for the Kelowna Capital News

From punk rock to politics, D.O.A. comes to Kelowna to Fight Back

The punk rock legends the will play in Kelowna to celebrate their 40th anniversary

Cost of parking at Kelowna’s airport taking off

City says hiking all parking rates at the airport will help pay for more parking in future

Your morning news in 90: Nov. 20, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

Morning crash shuts down Kamloops road

A crash stalled the morning communte in Kamloops on Wednesday

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during slaughter and they are investigating

Driver ticketed after crash on Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous

The bridge is the Trans-Canada Highway’s crossing point for the Sicamous Channel

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

B.C.’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Most Read