Penticton mayor Dan Ashton will represent the B.C. Liberals in the riding of Penticton in the next provincial election.
“I’m going to work hard to help Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal team keep British Columbia’s economy on track,” Ashton said after he was named the party’s candidate on Saturday.
Liberal members from the riding gathered in Penticton to choose from four candidates vying for the chance to represent the party in the riding. The others were former school trustee Connie Denesiuk, Summerland mayor Janice Perrino and businessman Mark Ziebarth. All four are from Summerland.
Ashton called on voters to ensure the Liberals and not the New Democrats form the next provincial government in British Columbia.
Although 15 Liberal politicians, including Kevin Falcon, George Abbott and Blair Lekstrom, have declared they will not seek re-election, Ashton is confident the party will continue to govern.
“As far as I’m concerned, the party is going to form the next government,” he said.
The provincial Liberals have been in power since 2001.
At present, there are 46 Liberals, 36 New Democrats and three independents in the Legislature.
Ashton is in his second term as mayor of Penticton. Earlier, he served three consecutive terms as councillor. He is also in his 10th year as chair of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
He said he will stay on as mayor until the next provincial election is announced.
“When the writ is dropped, I’ll take a leave of absence,” he said.
The provincial election is expected in May, 2013.