The New Democrats have named a candidate for a provincial by-election that will fill a seat that was left open after former premier Christy Clark retired from politics last August.
Shelley Cook will represent the NDP in the race for Kelowna West.
The former executive director of the John Howard Society is described in a December 4 media release as a third-generation Okanagan resident who previously chaired the City of Kelowna’s housing committee and the Central Okanagan Four Pillars Coalition’s treatment pillar.
Cook ran against Clark in the last provincial election, in May 2017. She placed second, with 25 percent of the vote compared to Clark’s 59 percent.
“I’m honoured to run again as the BC NDP candidate in my home riding of Kelowna West, and to stand with Premier John Horgan,” Cook said quoted in the NDP’s release. “I’m so proud of the work John Horgan's BC NDP government has done to make life more affordable, deliver better services to people, and promote good-paying jobs and opportunity for everyone. I'm eager to be a part of what comes next.”
The Liberals named their candidate for the Kelowna West seat last September. They'll be represented by Ben Stewart, who previously held the seat from 2009 to 2013. He won with 53 percent of the vote in the 2009 election and with 58 percent of the vote in 2013. Stewart then resigned in 2013 to allow for Clark to run in a by-election for his seat after she lost her race for Vancouver-Point Grey to the NDP's David Eby.
The B.C. Greens have not announced their candidate. In the May 2017 election, they were represented there by Robert Mellalieu. He placed third with 14 percent of the vote.
The provincial government has yet schedule the by-election and has until February to set a date.
Kelowna West is considered a Liberal stronghold where any NDP candidate would likely face a tough race.