By Lorene Keitch
Doug Clovechok rode to victory on a Liberal wave of support in the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding.
As of Wednesday morning, Elections BC results reported Mr. Clovechok with 45.75 per cent of the vote. The NDPs Gerry Taft was second with 35.92 per cent.
Mr. Clovechok paid respect to the other candidates Tuesday evening.
Youve got to respect anybody who will step up and do this because its not easy, said Mr. Clovechok. Its not easy on the people around you, its not easy on your volunteers, so I want to congratulate all those guys who put their name forward too.
Mr. Taft said these were not the results he was hoping for.
This is the first time Ive ever lost an election. Ever, said Mr. Taft. I’ve been doing it for 15 years and so I know a lot of people speculate or ask, if you’ve been in local government a long time, are you planning to move up? So it is kind of thought to be a progression.
A big surprise of the night was the Green Partys Samson Boyer who received 11.44 per cent of the vote. He almost doubled the 2013 election results, when the Green party got 6.88 per cent of the votes and beat the record high of 8.44 per cent in the 2005 election.
The 18-year-old attributed his performance to being engaged with the electorate. He said his goal was to get 15 per cent of the vote, but he was happy with almost 12 per cent, and that this was only a start.
My next plan is university, get more engaged with the community and hopefully run again in four years, he said. If an 18 year old can get 12 per cent of the vote, who knows what a 22 year old can do.
Kimberly resident Duncan Boyd MacLeod ran as in independent and received 3.26 per cent of the vote. He was really happy with his results.
I thought the results were affirming and inspiring, Mr. Boyd MacLeod said. I was a really late entrant into the race, so for 450 people to rally and vote for democracy reform on short notice, and without my campaign spending any money on advertising, I think its indicative of a growing feeling that in Columbia River-Revelstoke and throughout B.C. that politics as usual isnt working.”
Independent candidate Justin Hooles received 2.55 per cent of the vote. He said while he did not get the results he was hoping for, he certainly found some positives to take away from the experience.
I was hoping I would have done a little better, said Mr. Hooles during a phone interview on election night as the last few ballot boxes were being tallied. But I really did enjoy this entire experience.
Hooles plans to run again in four years, and says he will be getting his name out in the riding earlier. But in the meantime he says he intends to look into running in the next municipal election in Kimberley.
According to Elections BC, there were 23,611 registered voters in the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding. According to preliminary counts, 13,824 voters turned out, meaning approximately 58.5 per cent of eligible voters cast their vote.
Mr. Clovechok received 6,325 votes, Mr.Taft had 4,966 and Boyer got 1,582. Mr. Boyd MacLeod earned 450 votes while Mr. Hooles took 352, with Libertarian candidate Rylan Kashuba taking the final 148 votes. According to Elections BC, these are preliminary results and numbers could change as absentee votes are counted.
Provincially, the BC Liberals won 43 seats, the NDP won 41, and the Green Party could hold the balance of the power with its three seats. The vote count is not final and some results could change when absentee ballots are counted from May 22nd-24th.
with files from Nikki Fredrikson, Alex Copper, Jessica Schwitek and Carolyn Grant