In the end, it was a job only one man wanted.
Stephen Fuhr, a former fighter pilot with the Canadian Air Force, was acclaimed Sunday as the federal Liberal candidate in Kelowna-Lake Country for the next election, scheduled for Oct. 19, 2015.
He won the nomination with no opposition Sunday in front of a packed house at the Manteo Resort in Kelowna.
He will challenge incumbent federal Conservative Ron Cannan, who has held the riding for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government since 2006.
“We need someone in Ottawa with a strong voice who will ensure our needs are given the traction they deserve,” said Fuhr following his nomination.
“The Harper government has lost touch with Canadians and, in fact, lost touch with reality.”
Fuhr, 45, is a former CF-18 fighter pilot and a 20-year veteran of the Canadian Air Force.
After his career in the military ended in 2009, he helped lead his family’s Kelowna-based SkyTrac Systems to substantial growth despite the global recession.
The family eventually sold the business and, in 2012, Fuhr returned to the air as a private pilot.
He said the government’s bungled F-35 fighter plan purchase pulled him into politics.
“The more I thought about this, the less it was about an aircraft purchase,” Fuhr said. “I started to think about the underlying issues and the reasons that this government got things wrong far more often than they got it right.
“A fundamental lack of transparency and accountability came to mind, something that is essential for the effective operation of our democracy.”
Fuhr said he plans to immediately start meeting local civic leaders in all fields to understand fully the issues most important to Kelowna-Lake Country.