BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu offered praise to her team of volunteers (pictured Oct. 21), following a too-close race with BC Liberal and incumbent Eric Foster in the 2020 provincial election Oct. 24. The outcome will be dependent on the final count from mail-in ballots expected in three weeks. (Facebook)

BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu offered praise to her team of volunteers (pictured Oct. 21), following a too-close race with BC Liberal and incumbent Eric Foster in the 2020 provincial election Oct. 24. The outcome will be dependent on the final count from mail-in ballots expected in three weeks. (Facebook)

‘Every vote counts’ in tight Vernon-Monashee race: NDP Harwinder Sandhu

Incumbent BC Liberal Eric Foster finishes election night with slim lead

The Vernon-Monashee race isn’t over yet. It was one of the province’s four ridings with an outcome too close to call after ballots were counted on election night Oct. 24.

The final count of the remaining mail-in ballots will determine whether BC Liberal candidate Eric Foster, vying his fourth term as MLA, will be upset by NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu.

Sandhu followed Foster closely Saturday night as ballots were tallied and the final preliminary count keeps Foster ahead with a slim lead of only 180 votes.

“I knew it was going to be a lot closer than the past,” Foster said from his campaign chair’s home Saturday night.

“While it’s too early to say, with the margins so close, whether I’ll be serving this riding once again … I start this new day with gratitude,” Foster wrote in a post to social media.

The final count won’t be available for another three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every vote counts,” Sandhu told Black Press Media on Sunday afternoon. “I respect whatever the decision voters make in the end.”

Sandhu was watching the results come in from her home, accompanied by family, and she said as she was doing chores around the house, her phone started to ring off the hook with messages such as “good luck” and “you go, girl” from friends and relatives around the province.

She described the atmosphere as “nail-biting,” but the early provincial NDP declaration, only an hour after polls closed, came as no surprise.

“I think the polls were suggesting the response we were getting from people,” she said of early numbers indicating an orange sweep. “Even here in town, it was just amazing. I’ve run a couple of campaigns and this time, the energy was so different and so positive.”

Premier John Horgan’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDP’s fulfilment of promises, improvement in services, mental health initiatives and establishing the first-ever ministry of mental health were a few points Sandhu listed as reasons behind the party’s success on election night.

“People were very satisfied the NDP had done so well in three years. But there’s a lot more work to do.”

Despite hurdles along the campaign trail brought on by COVID-19 restrictions and vandals targeting her signs, Sandhu said she and her team of supporters and volunteers never heard anything negative.

Now, Foster and Sandhu must wait until the final ballots are totalled to determine the outcome.

Sandhu said she will be returning to work as a nurse at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, which she said will keep her busy through the waiting game.

Foster and Sandhu both offered praise to their campaign teams, fellow candidates — BC Greens Keli Westgate and Conservative Kyle Delfing — as well as volunteers and voters who practised their democratic right.

READ MORE: Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

READ MORE: Too close to call in Vernon-Monashee race


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Votes 2020Election 2020

Just Posted

Joe Rich residents want logging operations in the area to stop for now until they get more clarity on slope stability and risks to the Mission Creek watershed. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Joe Rich logging poses watershed risk: residents

Area residents want the logging to stop in the area for the time being

Kelowna Law Courts. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Former Vernon teacher found guilty of historic sex crimes against minors

Anoop Singh Klair was found guilty of all eight charges against him in a Kelowna courtroom on Friday

An algal bloom on Wood Lake has residents concerned for the body of water's health. (Wendy Innes-Shaw)
‘Wood Lake looks seriously unwell’: Lake Country residents

Algal bloom appears to be getting worse, and stinky

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

.
Kelowna, Lake Country high schools exposed to virus

COVID-19 exposures listed at George Elliot, École Kelowna Friday

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

KCR Migrant Support Worker, Javier, had an exciting day escorting his son Ian with him during ‘Take your Child to Work Day’!
KCR: Volunteering is being part of a whole

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

The real estate market is hot in Vernon, and across the Okanagan. (John Dent photo)
North Okanagan home prices, demand continue to build

Single family home volumes up 200 per cent, worth average $647,000

A wildfire southeast of Vernon has been added to the BC Wildfire dashboard Friday, May 14, 2021. (BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire sparks southeast of Vernon

The fire appears to be in a remote area east of Aberdeen Lake

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Enderby’s Small Axe Roadhouse was the subject of nasty backlash after installing two busty beer towers. (Facebook)
Enderby bar’s busty beer taps to stay put despite backlash

‘Many folks have mansplained to us that we are sexist, misogynistic…’

Most Read