Less than 24 hours after one of his three challengers issued a news release claiming supporters are abandoning him, incumbent Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran has produced three more testimonials—this time from other Okanagan mayors praising the job he is doing.
Vernon’s Mayor Akbal Mund, Penticton’s Mayor Andrew Jakubeit and Oliver’s Mayor Ron Hovanes all praise Basran for his work in side the city and regionally.
“Over the last four years, Colin’s leadership, honesty and integrity have proven he is the person for the job,” said Mund. “Colin has tackled controversial issues such as homelessness with compassion, attainable housing by working with council, and growth through sound fiscal responsibility.”
Jakubeit praised Basran’s ability to “listen to stakeholders and make recommendations on not only what is best for his community, but what it affordable.”
“Look at Colin’s record and achievements and the status of where Kelowna is today,” wrote Hovanes. “Being the mayor for any size of community is difficult, especially a community the size of Kelowna, and how active and growing it is, you want someone there with experience.”
The testimonials come after challenger Tom Dyas issued a news release moments before Tuesday evening’s mayoral debate, claiming Basran’s former council campaign manager from 2011 “abandoned” him. In light of that, Dyas, a former close friend of Basran’s, questioned why voters should still believe in Basran as a leader.
Dyas said he raised the issue of Kelowna lawyer Garry Benson supporting him and not Basran because Basran said at an earlier all-candidates forum he was not aware of any previous supporters abandoning him.
In 2014, Benson supported former mayor Sharon Shepherd in her unsuccessful bid for a political comeback when she lost to Basran in the mayor’s race.
In the news release issued by the Dyas campaign, Benson is quoted as saying he did not support Basran this time for mayor because he does not believe Basran has the necessary leadership ability to effectively engage the community, adding he feels that ability is critical in order to be a “good” mayor.
He also criticized Basran’s “status quo” style.
Dyas has made leadership a major plank in his campaign platform.
Meanwhile, former city councillor Gerry Zimmermann issued a statement Thursday afternoon denying he has endorsed Dyas, saying he has not. He said he does not agree with Dyas’s vision for the city.
Former Conservative MP Ron Cannan, who said he considered a run for council but decided against it because of his business concerns, said Wednesday while he supports Dyas he is not his campaign manager, despite local news organizations identifying him as such.
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