Andrew Wilkinson hunts for support to reclaim Comox Valley

BC Liberals begin search for candidate in Courtenay-Comox riding

Although the next provincial election isn’t scheduled until the fall of 2021, BC Liberal party leader Andrew Wilkinson realizes work needs to be done now for his party to win back the Courtenay-Comox riding.

The Liberals lost the Courtenay-Comox seat in one of the closest votes of the 2017 election, when NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard claimed the riding in a race that garnered national attention.

Leonard defeated Liberal candidate Jim Benninger by so few votes on election night (nine), that a judicial recount was ordered.

RELATED: Ronna-Rae Leonard wins election by narrowest of margins

After the recount and the inclusion of mail-in ballots, Leonard was declared a winner by a margin of 189 votes, replacing retiring Liberal Don McRae as the local MLA.

It was the Liberals’ narrowest margin of defeat in any riding in the province, making the Courtenay-Comox riding one of the top priorities for the party, in its quest to regain power.

Wilkinson was in Courtenay Friday for a riding association breakfast, and said work is already being done to find a candidate for the next provincial election.

“The riding association here is extremely active, well-financed, they know what they are doing, and now they are into a candidate search, which is going to be very exciting, because in the last election, you decided who was going to form government,” he said. “It’s very real, and very important here in the Valley.

“The call to action at the riding association this morning … was, ‘It’s time to get out there folks… you’ve got a great constituency association and what you’re missing here is the candidate for the next election. So cast your minds far and wide, talk to people… and try to get people motivated and interested in the idea of running as a candidate.”

Wilkinson has called on an old guard to lead the search for a new Liberal candidate for the Courtenay-Comox riding: McRae.

“That’s very helpful, because I think Don has left a very positive image and feel in the entire Comox Valley for his performance as an MLA,” said Wilkinson. “Don McRae is exactly the kind of candidate we are looking for; smart, focused, very keyed into the local community, very good-humoured and a straight-up, authentic person, that everybody really liked.”

Wilkinson won the Liberal leadership election in February of 2018, after Christy Clark’s Aug. 4, 2017 resignation.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

RCMP evacuate Cowichan detachment due to explosive device

Device disposed of without incident after man brings in discovered explosive

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Island man narrowly escapes being run down by his own truck

Saanich resident working on his truck on Darwin Avenue, when it started to roll on him

SLIDESHOW: ‘Lightning’ hits Vancouver Island for annual Sproat Lake regatta

Alberni Valley Regatta Association hosted sixth annual races

SLIDESHOW: Vancouver Islanders gather for classic cars and cool aircraft

Campbell River’s annual Wings & Wheels event held at city’s airport

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Most Read