For decades it was safe ground for candidates on the right wing of the political spectrum. The riding of Kootenay-Columbia had elected Reform, Alliance, and Conservatives candidates since its inception in 1997.
But 2015 was different. The NDP picked up the seat in a close race that was very much the tale of two regions. NDP MP Wayne Stetski took advantage of his support around Nelson, securing 23,529 votes (37.2 per cent) in the riding.
Conservative incumbent David Wilks received the bulk of his support in and around Cranbrook but fell just 282 votes short of winning. In the end, Wilks received 23,247 votes (36.8 per cent) while Liberal Don Johnston finished third with 12,315 votes (19.5 per cent).
Wilks has moved on, now serving as the mayor of Sparwood. Former public servant Rob Morrison has been nominated as the Conservative candidate.
NDP: Wayne Stetski
Liberal: Not yet nominated
Conservative: Rob Morrison
Green: Abra Brynne
People’s Party of Canada: Richard D. Stewart
Animal: Trev Miller
Libertarian: Terry Tiessen
The riding covers the communities of Nelson, Creston, Revelstoke, Cranbrook, Golden and Fernie.
European: 92,475, 84 per cent
Aboriginal: 9,075, 8.2 per cent
South Asian: 715, 0.6 per cent
Filipino: 705, 0.6 per cent
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