One of two declared candidates vying to represent the federal Conservatives for South Okanagan-West Kootenay has reportedly withdrawn his application.
In a social media posting Saturday afternoon Marshall Neufeld said: “This was a difficult decision and one I did not come to lightly. This decision has been building since attending the funeral of a friend in May.
“That event caused me to reflect on what I wish to spend my days on at this stage of life. Other personal matters in the last two weeks have encouraged this reflection, and my determination has been that running for elected office is not the right decision for me at this point in life.”
Neufeld finished second for the Conservatives in the 2015 election in the newly created South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding. NDP candidate Richard Cannings took the riding with 24,823 votes (37.3 per cent of the popular vote) just over half of the votes after losing in a previous provincial election.
Neufeld left the October 2015 election with 29.8 per cent of the votes (19,871).
The Penticton realtor announced his intention to seek the nomination to represent the party again in April of this year.
Penticton Councillor Helena Konanz also announced in April she would not be seeking re-election to city council and in late June officially placed her bid for the Conservative Party candidacy
That announcement came with the endorsements of some prominent, high level, current and and former politicians.
Her backers included Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola Conservative MP Dan Albas; Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen director and former Progressive Conservative MP Tom Siddon; and former B.C. Liberal MLA Rick Thorpe as well as Penticton MLA Dan Ashton and former MLAs Jim Hewitt and Bill Barisoff.
In his statement Saturday, Neufeld encouraged anyone interested in seeking the nomination to get their application into party headquarters within the next two or three weeks – with a vote by the membership likely in late September.
“I wish all those who will seek this position well, and especially wish the winner of the nomination success in their fight to bring good representation to the South Okanagan Kootenay and Boundary.”
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