Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft garnered the support of the majority of NDP members at the constituency’s nomination convention in Golden on Saturday, October 15.
Taft, who was endorsed by current NDP MLA Norm Macdonald, was chosen as the person best able to ensure Columbia River Revelstoke continues to be represented by the BC NDP. He won with 163 votes. His only opponent was Spring Hawes, also of Invermere, who garnered 85 votes. Two ballots were spoiled. A total of 250 ballots were cast. The NDP has 331 members in the riding. Sixty people attended the convention, which was held in Golden.
“I am very grateful for the support I received from members across the constituency,” Taft said following the announcement of the vote count. “And I am thankful to my nominators and endorsers for the faith they have shown in me. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we build our campaign team across the region, and that work starts today.”
Taft was nominated by Bob Campsall who served alongside Taft on District of Invermere council for much of Taft’s time as councilor and mayor. Campsall was joined as a nominator by Melissa Broadhurst Neidig from Kimberley who has been an active political volunteer and union leader for more than a decade.
In his response to members, Taft made it clear that he intends to remind people in this region just how poorly the area was served by having a BC Liberal MLA.
“In 2005, this region said ‘No’ to the BC Liberals,” said Taft. “This area suffered significant loses the last time we had a BC Liberal MLA. People have not forgotten those facility closures and service cuts; that’s why voters here have continued to say no to the BC Liberals in 2009 and 2013.”
Taft will be taking on BC Liberal candidate Doug Clovechok who was beaten by incumbent MLA Norm Macdonald in 2013.
“Mr. Clovechok is going to take another run at it, and he’s even said that he learned a lot of lessons from the last election campaign,” Taft said. “He believes that he will now be a better candidate. But I’ve seen absolutely no change in Mr. Clovechok since 2013.”
“Everything Mr. Clovechok says is straight out of the BC Liberal playbook. A look at his Facebook and Twitter shows a mindless series of BC Liberal retweets and government press releases. That’s not what the people in this region want to hear. We get enough of that propaganda through government advertising.
“Voters in Columbia River Revelstoke want a representative who puts them first. They want to elect an MLA who will listen and speak on their behalf. Mr. Clovechok has always sided with the BC Liberals over the people he claims to want to represent.”
Taft said Clovechok favoured both the HST and development of Jumbo, neither of which Taft supported.
Taft will be launching the BC NDP’s campaign in Columbia River Revelstoke in a tour to each community over the coming weeks. Details will soon be available for events in Revelstoke on October 25, Kimberley on October 27, and Invermere on October 28.
For more information, please click here to look for Taft on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaftGerry