Christy Clark to run in Kelowna by-election
B.C. Premier Christy Clark confirmed on Wednesday that the provincial riding of Westside-Kelowna is where she plans on gaining a seat in a local by-election in July.
Despite holding a majority in the legislature, B.C. Liberal leader Clark has been without a constituency since May 14th, losing by a slim margin to NDP candidate David Eby in Vancouver-Point Grey.
Westside-Kelowna is currently a B.C. Liberal stronghold, with Ben Stewart, a former cabinet minister, who plans to give up his seat. While many other MLA's were reported to have offered their own ridings, the Vancouver native Clark decided that the Okanogan Valley was the safest place to run.
"I hope that with the blessing of the people of Westside-Kelowna, I can be the third premier to bring a vision to British Columbia from this community.", stated Clark at the announcement of her intention to run in the riding on Wednesday.
The interior of B.C. has not brought to Victoria a sitting premier since the days of W.A.C. and Bill Bennett, with the latter having not served since 1986. Both father and son premiers also hailed from the Westside-Kelowna riding.
Clark and the B.C. Liberals are likely to announce the departure of Ben Stewart in the coming weeks, forcing a by-election that could take place by the end of July. In last month's election, Stewart won by over 6,000 votes, gaining at least 58% of the vote against the NDP's 30%.
It is not known if Carole Gordon, the runner-up, will challenge Clark in an upcoming by-election.