Kelowna city Coun. Tracy Gray is entering the race for the federal Conservative Party nomination in Kelowna-Lake Country.
Gray, who is wrapping up her first four-year term on council, ended weeks of speculation Thursday by announcing she will seek the nomination and will not file papers run in the Oct. 20 civic election.
“It is a genuine honor to work for the families and constituents of Kelowna, and I humbly ask for the opportunity to serve you again—this time, to be a strong, engaged voice in Ottawa,” Gray said.
She made her announcement at Kelowna’s Sandhill Winery.
“I started to seriously consider this when the current federal government was going to implement substantial tax changes without consultation or consideration of how it would hurt businesses, families and retirement planning.”
Gray, the former owner and founder of Discover Wines in Kelowna, has served on several boards since winning a seat on council in 2014, including the Okanagan Basin Water Board—of which she is the chairwoman—the Regional District of Central Okanagan, the Okanagan Regional Library Board, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, the Okanagan Film Commission and the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital Board.
Grayrecently attended the Conservative Party’s national convention in Halifax as an observer.
She said came away very impressed with party leader Andrew Scheer.
“He’s a strong leader with common sense. He’s not all glitz and glamour,” she said, adding she is comfortable running for a party viewed as being on the right side of the political spectrum.
“It has the same values I was brought up with—if you work hard, you should be able to get ahead.
Her announcement she is seeking the Conservative nomination in the riding will pit her against another local businesswoman, Troika Development’s CEO Renee Wasylyk. Wasylyk announced last month she will seek the nomination as well.
No date has been set for a nomination vote in the riding but Gray said she expects it to be in the fall. The next federal election must be held before mid-October 2019.
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