This past weekend, two federal political parties chose their Member of Parliament nominees for the newly formed South Okanagan-West Kootenay (SOWK) riding.
Penticton native Marshall Neufeld secured the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) spot for the constituency at the party’s nomination meetings and he says he is looking forward to getting to know the constituents in the traditionally NDP-leaning West Kootenay.
Residents should expect their doorbells to be ringing in the next couple of weeks.
“It’s all about getting out there and meeting people,” he said.
“The best way is door-to-door. People are usually comfortable on their doorstep and will say exactly what they think.”
Neufeld hopes that he can find common ground with voters in the riding, even if they may not end up voting for the CPC.
“Many times (during conversation) we will find that we have many common areas of interest,” he said, adding that no matter what party voters prefer, he wants to represent everyone.
“If there are people that are staunchly NDP, they are probably not going to be changing their votes and that is fine, but you still want to be able to have heard them out and know what their opinions and values are because you have to work for everybody in the riding.”
After the weekend nomination meetings, Neufeld is still riding high on his nomination win.
“It just feels tremendous,” he told the Trail Times on Monday.
“You just feel honoured by people putting their confidence in you. The first feeling when you get the official word from Ottawa is humbling. We had hundreds of people come out and then to have such a large percentage vote, you are just completely humbled.”
Neufeld was running against Kelowna’s Rick DeJong for a spot on the ballot, and ended up winning by an 88 per cent margin.
The Liberal Party nomination went to Connie Denesiuk from Penticton who was running unopposed in the SOWK riding.
Both the Green Party and the NDP have yet to announce candidates to run against Neufeld and Denesiuk in the 2015 federal election.
The NDP plans to have its candidate officially announced sometime in October, while the Green Party says future candidates can still submit their names to run for the riding.