Kendall, Friedman to fly NDP election flags
If the speculation turns out to be true and voters head back to the polls for a provincial election this fall, the NDP in Kamloops will be ready.
Party members for both the Kamloops-North and South Thompson constituency associations chose their candidates during a nomination meeting in Valleyview on Saturday, July 23.
Tom Friedman, who represented the party in the 2009 election, was acclaimed in the south, while Kathleen Kendall got the nod over two other competitors in the north.
The legal-aid lawyer beat out FightHST organizer Chad Moats and local teacher-librarian Cecile McVittie for the right to take on Liberal MLA Terry Lake.
A total of 111 members in the constituency cast ballots, but party officials didn’t release the final tally.
However, one party insider noted the results weren’t close, with Kendall winning in a landslide.
“It was a fabulous campaign,” Kendall said following her victory.
“A lot of excitement was generated in the riding because it was a contested election.”
She said her key to victory was being well-organized and getting help from experienced party members, such as three-time federal NDP Kamloops candidate Michael Crawford.
When asked how she intends to turn the tide in the NDP’s favour following two very close elections in the riding, Kendall said she will work harder, adding the party now has more time than in previous years to devote to the campaign.
Though there was no race to speak of across the river, Friedman was just as thrilled to be flying the NDP banner for the second straight time in the south.
He argued the provincial election won’t just be about issues, but trust and accountability.
“We’ve seen far too little of that over the last 10 years,” Friedman said.
The candidate said he intends to start gearing up for a possible campaign once the summer is over.
Friedman, who lost in 2009 by more than 4,000 votes to longtime Liberal MLA Kevin Krueger, said he has since raised his profile in the community and voters are more familiar with the skills he can bring to the job.
The weekend meeting was also attended by B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix, who was in Kamloops for the second time in a month and ninth time this year.
Speaking to members, he said winning at least one seat in Kamloops is critical to an NDP victory provincewide.
“The momentum we get from this nomination meeting is really going to help us,” he said.
In what sounded more like an election speech, Dix said he plans to present a clear agenda to voters, which he expects will go over well in Kamloops.
Dix also indicated he’ll be making many more trips up to Kamloops before the end of the year.