A familiar name in the South Okanagan political scene is eyeing a spot on Penticton council this October.
Helena Konanz, a Penticton councillor from 2011 to 2018 and Conservative MP candidate in the last two federal elections, has announced her intentions to run in the upcoming local election.
“After knocking on doors throughout Penticton this summer, I’ve heard from our citizens that there are some very serious issues that have been badly neglected these past few years,” Konanz said.
“We have one of the worst crime rates in all of BC. Pentictonites deserve to feel safe in their own community and I plan to make it my priority at city hall to make that happen.”
Konanz was first elected to Penticton council in 2011, before getting a second mandate in 2014. Prior to her run in politics, she travelled the world as a professional tennis player, appearing in tournaments like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Currently, the local candidate serves on the board of both the Penticton Sunrise Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.
Konanz, who launched her Penticton council campaign on Sept. 7, lists crime prevention, increasing housing affordability through smart builds, stopping inflated electrical bills and reducing rising property taxes are among her top priorities.
“Avoid poorly planned, expensive projects such as the lake-to-lake bike lanes,” she added.
Konanz was the Conservative Party of Canada’s representative in the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding for both the 2019 and 2021 federal elections. The former two-term Penticton councillor was narrowly defeated in 2019, falling less than 800 votes short of ousting current MP Richard Cannings.
Dan Ashton, Garry Litke and Andrew Jakubeit served as Penticton’s mayor during Konanz’ time on city council.
As of Wednesday morning, Sept. 7, seven people have officially filed their papers for the six city council positions.
Election day is Oct. 15.