B.C. election: Former Liberal MLA for Chilliwack-Kent concedes after tumultuous campaign
Published Saturday, November 7, 2020 8:48PM PST
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness is seen in this file photo from November 2019. (CTV)
VANCOUVER -- After a rocky campaign that saw him resign from his own party and finish his race independently, former MLA Laurie Throness has been defeated in Chilliwack-Kent, preliminary results posted by Elections BC shows.
The NDP's Kelli Paddon has instead claimed the seat. After a close race, Elections BC shows Paddon won 36.4 per cent of the vote, compared to Throness's 30.6 per cent.
Throness, who served as an MLA with the BC Liberals for three terms, left the party in October after comparing the NDP's free contraception proposal to eugenics.
Those remarks, which he made at a virtual all-candidates meeting, drew criticism from political opponents, birth control advocates and BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, who said they were "not in keeping with the values of the BC Liberal Party or my own values."
He later said in a Facebook post that he used "an incorrect word" to explain his concerns about the NDP proposal. He also said that while he resigned from the BC Liberals, he would sit as an independent MLA if elected.
But after mail-ballots were counted in the tight race, Paddon came out ahead by more than 1,300 votes.
"It's been my life's joy to serve the riding of Chilliwack-Kent for 7.5 years," Throness said in a thread on Twitter where he also mentioned he called Paddon to congratulate her.
"Thank you to all my staff, volunteers donors, constituents, political colleagues and the many, many friends I have made through the years. What an enormous privilege!"
Premier John Horgan's NDP claimed a majority victory on election night, which was two weeks ago. But some ridings – including Chilliwack-Kent – relied on mail-ballots before a result was declared.