Federal Conservatives in the Kelowna-Lake Country riding will pick their candidate for the next election on April 6.
The party has finally announced the nomination date to choose either Renee Wasylyk or Tracy Gray, the two declared candidates, as the party’s nominee to challenge incumbent Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr in next October’s federal vote.
Wasylyk and Gray have just three days left to sign up new members to the party as March 9 has been set as the cutoff date for new, or renewed, memberships required to vote in the nomination process.
March 2 was the deadline for candidates to officially declare they were seeking the nomination, and only Wasylyk and Gray—both of whom announced last year they would seek the nomination—put their names forward.
Wasylyk heads a Kelowna-based development company and Gray is local businesswoman and a former Kelowna city councillor.
Both women have publicly criticized the representation provided to the riding by Fuhr, an accusation he rejects pointing to federal money secured for area projects and a long list of federal cabinet ministers who have visited the riding in the last 3 1/2 years.
Fuhr defeated long-time Conservative MP Ron Cannan in 2015 to become the first Liberal MP for the area in 45 years.
Because of the short time between the April 6 Conservative nomination vote and October’s election, both Wasylyk and Gray have said they are already campaigning among the broader electorate as if they have the nomination.
Meanwhile, in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, which includes the downtown area of Kelowna, long-time incumbent Conservative MP Dan Albas has already been acclaimed as his party’s candidate heading into the October election.
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