Gary Adams and his band of half a dozen supporters were all smiles at his Dilworth Mountain home election night as they cheered on the party’s first seated candidate.
After 30 years of Green Party candidates stumping all over the B.C., a professor by the name of Andrew Weaver won the party’s first ever seat in the legislature in the Island riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head.
“My community inspired me to run,” was Weaver’s slogan and it worked for the climate modelling scientist who works out of the University of Victoria.
Adams too was a teacher, though he is now retired with the time to run for office.
After 12 years of working for the Green Party, he reluctantly stepped forward as a candidate in the Kelowna-Lake Country riding, challenging Liberal candidate Norm Letnick, NDP Mike Nuyens and Conservative Graeme James.
“I was hoping that someone younger than myself would come forward and nobody did; so I said okay, I’m in,” he explained.
Adams described the candidate role was very similar to teaching.
“You need to prepare for debates. You need to prepare for the forums. You present your story…and you want to keep the audience interested,” he said.
A critical factor in succeeding in this aim is money and working with only a $500 campaign budget, he felt pressured in finding ways to reach the electorate.
Money would have allowed him to purchase signs and radio advertising locally, and on a provincial level, he believes more funding would really help the Green Party get its message out, ensuring the science behind the party’s philosophy is clear to the people of British Columbia.
In the meantime, the party will have its first voice in the legislature. Weaver defeated Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong and the NDP’s Jessica Van der Veen, garnering 40.7 per cent of the vote to Van der Veen’s 29.6 per cent and Chong’s 27.8.
Adams secured 7.23 per cent of the vote to place fourth in the Kelowna-Lake Country riding.