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

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

Kelowna developer makes an effort to help students left homeless after flood

U-Two developer is making an effort to help university students who were left in a lurch

Okanagan junior boys teams heading to basketball provincials.

The provincials invite 32 of the top junior teams in the province

Two accidents on Highway 97 near Vernon College

Emergency personnel have been called to two separate incidents on Highway 97 near Okanagan College

Music Rundown: Who you should be watching play live this week

Fill your calendar this week with these great shows

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

No gas in Okanagan town as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

Shuswap facility adds 60 long-term care beds

Mount Ida Mews hosts grand opening of second phase in Salmon Arm

UPDATE: One dead after crash on Highway 97A near Armstrong

Police have confirmed that one person is dead following an accident on Highway 97A Friday

Most Read