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Voters electing new Kelowna West MLA on Valentine's Day


We'll know who the new MLA for the Kelowna West riding is after tonight's byelection

Five different candidates are looking to fill the seat left vacant by former Premier Christy Clark in Kelowna West

KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) – The seat left vacant by former Premier Christy Clark will be filled tonight after the Kelowna West byelection, but the two front-runners are not assuming they already know the results.

Ben Stewart wants to represent the riding again after stepping down in 2013, so Clark could run.

“There’s always a concern about voter apathy and I’ve been elected a couple times and people seem to think I have a pretty good chance, but every last vote counts in this by-election because it’s cold and not everybody’s going to head out to the polls… A lot of our volunteers and supporters have been away and some of the other ones are still out here slogging out in the trenches. It’s a lot slower going in the winter weather with the snowfall accumulations we’ve had.”

Related article: BC premier calls byelection in ‘liberal-friendly’ Kelowna West riding

His lead opponent, the NDP’s Shelley Cook, says win or lose, it was worth it.

“I had some fantastic conversations and spent a lot of time reaching out to people and knocking on doors. I was hearing some very, very common themes of key importance to people in this riding.”

Cook lost the general election last year when she tried to defeat Clark in what’s always been a safe riding for the Liberals.

“We ran a fantastic campaign. It’s just an incredible amount of energy. I’m really pumped up. I think we’ve certainly left it all on the field, so we’ll see what the voters think.”

The other three candidates are the Green Party’s Robert Stupka, Conservative Mark Thompson and Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo.

The results are expected within two hours of the polls closing at 8pm.