NEWS

NDP names Kelowna local to face premier in byelection

06/12/2013 01:38 EDT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:12 EDT
B.C.'s New Democrats announced Tuesday that Kelowna's Carole Gordon will run as the NDP candidate against Premier Christy Clark in the Kelowna-Westside byelection.

Gordon, an elementary school teacher, ran for the first time this May but lost in the Westside-Kelowna riding against Liberal incumbent Ben Stewart. She said she's ready to run again, this time against the premier.

"It's a different experience than two months ago. It's unique. I'm prepared for the challenge," Gordon said.

NDP Leader Adrian Dix, who introduced Gordon as the NDP's choice on Tuesday, called her an outstanding and dedicated local candidate.

"Carole, as you know, has lived in Kelowna for more than 40 years, which gives her a 40-year head start in the byelection," he said.

"I think that the people of Kelowna deserve someone who will represent them with passion, not represent the Liberal party or Victoria here in Kelowna, but represent Kelowna in the legislature in British Columbia," Dix said.

Stewart, a former cabinet minister, won the Westside-Kelowna seat in May by 6,000 votes — nearly twice as many votes as Gordon — but stepped down last week so Clark could run in his riding.

- Read more: B.C. premier to run in Kelowna byelection

Clark led the B.C. Liberals to a surprising victory in the May 14 provincial election, but was defeated in her own riding of Vancouver-Point Grey by NDP candidate David Eby, a high-profile civil rights lawyer, by more than 1,000 votes.

In Canada's parliamentary system, the premier, or a prime minister, is simply the leader of the governing party, but in order to sit in legislature or parliament, he or she needs to have won a seat.

No date for the byelection has been announced yet. On June 5, Clark said it would be called within a week; in which case Westside-Kelowna voters would head to the polls in mid-July.

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