As the initial votes were still being counted, candidates in the tight race in the Boundary Similkameen riding anxiously awaited the results Saturday night.
This campaign would not see the usual public parties with supporters and candidates, as all three candidates spent the chilly October election night with friends and family.
All candidates in the riding were taking their first shot at provincial office, including Oliver town councillor and BC Liberal candidate Petra Veintimilla, who said she is watching the results roll in with her family, friends and campaign volunteers.
“We’ve worked hard and we’re going to enjoy this evening. We know this is a close race and we don’t expect final results tonight, but we’re anxiously awaiting the results that we will see both here and province-wide,” Veintimilla said.
BC NDP candidate Roly Russell spent the night in Christina Lake in the house his parents built.
“We’re hanging out with family and having a far quieter night than I would choose on Election Night, but such is the pandemic obligation,” Russell said. “I’m making the calls right now to all my campaign volunteers to just say thanks for all the hard work because it feels pretty humbling and I’m thankful for all that they’ve done.”
Russell wished he could spend the night with his campaign team as well, but Zoom would have to do.
“That’s not an option so we have a couple Zoom calls planned for later tonight to try and connect with each other and at least see each other’s faces,” Russell said.
Conservative candidate Darryl Seres spent election night at his residence on Anarchist Mountain with family, friends and a few volunteers.
“We’re having a very small election watch party and it has been very enjoyable so far,” Seres said. “I’m very curious, I’m curious I’m excited I think it’s going to be closer than people think. I think it’s going to be a close three-way race.”
Seres said he enjoyed the campaign, had a lot of fun and learned a lot.
“Now it’s just let the people decide and see where the chips fall,” Seres said.
All three first-time provincial candidates expressed the race in Boundary Similkameen was clean and policy-focussed.
“I was very impressed with the other candidates and the clean, respectful, civil campaign that we all ran, as someone who is running for elected office for the first time I didn’t know what to expect.” Seres said. “I have to say that, at least at the local level, some of my faith in democracy has been restored just based on the nature of this campaign — at the local level. I’m not as impressed with the provincial media, but in terms of local media and in terms of the local campaign it has been really fabulous.”
“We had a pretty positive and policy-focussed campaign and that makes me happy. It’s a key principle we wanted to run on and happy to have two opponents who seemed equally focussed on issues,” Russel said.
Russell was the projected winner Saturday night pulling in 48 per cent of the initial vote count.
Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle