Kevin Parnell column

Parnell: Down the stretch they come

It’s been quite the election campaign in the Central Okanagan heading to Tuesday’s vote

After publishing our last paper (Friday’s edition) before the May 9 B.C. election, we’d like to congratulate all of the candidates who have put their names forward to represent the three ridings that make up the Central Okanagan, and indeed, all of the people who put their money where their mouth is to run for political office around the province.

It has been quite the campaign as the area has been the focus of surprise leader visits, late leader visits, and no leader visits, depending on the party.

After being bashed around for a few weeks by letter-writers to the Capital News, Christy Clark finally appeared in her home riding last week on a two-day trip that saw her stop in Princeton, Osoyoos, Oliver, Penticton and Kelowna all in one day before participating in a radio all-candidates forum, the only forum she took part in, the next morning.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver also came to Kelowna and the Okanagan for two days, surging on the strength of the televised leader’s debate on what he called a last minute decision to come to the Central Okanagan, strongly held by the three Liberals.

NDP leader John Horgan was in the Okanagan days before the election writ was dropped but didn’t make his way to the area in the campaign until coming to the South Okanagan area on the weekend.

And if you want to read between the lines, that could mean they don’t think they stand a chance of winning a seat here against the Liberals, despite what Shelley Cook has done during this campaign, putting herself forward as a strong candidate.

If the NDP really thought they could win in Kelowna West one would have thought Cook would have seen some more support from her leader, given the fact the incumbent Clark was cruising all around the province and taking heat in her home riding for not being around.

One of the most interesting races is in Kelowna-Lake Country, which the Green Party seemed to be targeting with Weaver’s visit and a strong candidate in Alison Shaw. Can anyone pull off an upset in this Liberal strong-hold? That remains to be seen and depends on how many people turn out to vote.

For us here at the Capital News, we will be working on election night on May 9 with reporters in each of the three ridings in the area.

Being a Tuesday night, our paper on Wednesday will be at the press before the results so we are pouring our resources into our web site (kelownacapnews.com) and social media sites that night (search us on Facebook)

We will have live video on our Facebook page from the winner’s campaign headquarters and reaction from everyone in the local races. Check our sites on election night as we will be posting results as quick as we can and will also have an interactive map on the front page of our web site, with drop down results from every riding in the province.

Until then, get out there and vote for the best candidate for you.