Christy Clark wins seat in Westside-Kelowna byelection
Christy Clark has earned a seat in the B.C. legislature, securing her ongoing role as Premier, after beating out seven challengers in Wednesday’s Westside-Kelowna byelection.
Clark captured 62 per cent of the popular vote compared to NDP rival Carole Gordon’s 29 per cent, according to preliminary results from Elections B.C.
The final count will take place on July 17.
At a victory party in Kelowna, Clark thanked those who voted for her and promised to take her constituents concerns, hopes and advice back to the legislature with her.
"You're coming with me. I am taking the heart, the dreams and the wishes of the people of Westside-Kelowna to Victoria, to work on things together, things that will make this incredible place we're so blessed to live in even better," Clark said.
The Premier was forced to run again in the BC Liberal stronghold riding after losing her Vancouver-Point Grey seat to New Democrat MLA David Eby in May’s general election.
Gordon, who lost the same Kelowna riding to Liberal Ben Stewart in May, proved less successful.
Stewart vacated his seat to Clark last month, and campaigned alongside her while bringing the Premier up-to-speed on local issues – including traffic congestion, health care, and a desired second bridge across Okanagan Lake.
The NDP has charged that Clark will be unlikely to produce long-term results for the riding because she’ll be too busy with her duties as Premier.
Conservative candidate Sean Upshaw, B.C. Vision’s Jag Bhandari and four independent candidates each secured roughly one per cent of the popular vote or less.
Clark was unable to vote in the riding Wednesday but earlier promised to buy a home in the area if elected.
Had she lost, Clark could have continued on as BC Liberal Leader and Premier, though she wouldn’t have been able to enter the legislature for the fall session.
With files from The Canadian Press