Former MP Stockwell Day came back to Penticton to give a speech in support of Helena Konanz in the 2019 federal election. (Western News File)

Former MP Stockwell Day came back to Penticton to give a speech in support of Helena Konanz in the 2019 federal election. (Western News File)

Federal Conservative candidate takes second shot at running in South Okanagan – West Kootenay

Helena Konanz lost the 2019 federal election to MP Richard Cannings by 800 votes

Falling shy of victory in 2019 by less than 800 votes, Conservative candidate Helena Konanz didn’t let the result demoralize her.

“It’s very exciting, 797 against the incumbent,” said Konanz. “In fact, it took Richard Cannings twice himself to win. He ran twice and won the second time, and that’s what exactly what I’m doing. “

At the annual general meeting for the Conservative riding association, on Oct. 17, Konanz announced that she would be returning to seek the position of MP for the South Okanagan – West Kootenay in the next federal election.

The 2019 election saw a tight race, with incumbent NDP Richard Cannings re-elected with 36.4 per cent of the vote to Konanz’s 35.2, or 24,809 to 24,013.

READ MORE: Early turnout breaks records as more than a million people vote ahead of B.C. election

The last time Konanz ran, she built up a strong ground-campaign, that used her many volunteers to speak to voters face-to-face. With COVID-19, that style of campaign is unlikely to be possible any time soon.

“We did knock on 40,000 doors, so we do have a lot of data from the last election,” said Konanz. “We’re taking this on a day-to-day basis. The situation with restrictions seems to change day-to-day, so we’ll see how it plays out.”

The last election also saw the introduction into politics of a People’s Party candidate, who received 1,638 votes, or 2.4 per cent.

“We need to listen to the people of our riding, and who they support and who they don’t. For some reason, 1,600 did support the People’s Party candidate,” she said. “We have to respect that, but this time around I don’t think that the People’s Party will be a factor. Did it play a factor? I think every single candidate had a factor in the outcome.”

READ MORE: Richard Cannings re-elected in South Okanagan-West Kootenay

The last federal election took place on Oct. 21, 2019, with the Liberal Party of Canada receiving 33.12 per cent of the vote leading to a minority government.

The current B.C. provincial election takes place on Oct. 24, 2020.

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