Sparwood Mayor David Wilks selected as the next Conservative candidate

Ken Miller (left), president of Kootenay-Columbia Electoral District Association, and MP Jim Abbott congratulate David Wilks, the newly selected Conservative candidate. Photo courtesy of Ken Miller

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks has been chosen to succeed Jim Abbott as the Conservative Party’s candidate in the next federal election.

“I am deeply honoured to accept the nomination when the field of four candidates was as strong as it was,” he said in an acceptance speech after the party’s final vote in Cranbrook on Saturday evening.  “We travelled to Revelstoke, Golden, Invermere, Creston, Sparwood, Kimberley and Cranbrook and the support from the membership in each community was overwhelming.”

Retiring MP Jim Abbott said Wilks will be “a powerful candidate that comes with tremendous experience and credentials.”

David Wilks is currently the mayor of Sparwood, also serving as a director of the Regional District of East Kootenay Board.  He is a board member of the Capital Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust, and co-chair of the Mayors and Chairs Highway No. 3 Coalition.  He is a retired RCMP officer and has a son serving as a combat engineer in Afghanistan. Wilks also runs a successful business in the Elk Valley.

Abbott is looking forward to completing his term as elected MP and will be working closely with David Wilks to assist him during the transition period.

There were four candidates for the nomination: Wilks, Cranbrook lawyer John Zimmer, Creston City Councillor Wes Graham and Cranbrook engineer John Kinghorn.

Ken Miller, president of Kootenay-Columbia Electoral District Association, said 800 people turned out to vote as party officials took travelling ballot boxes to Revelstoke, Golden, Invermere, Creston, Sparwood, Kimberley and Cranbrook.

David Wilks won the nomination with 360 votes.