MLA Dan Ashton (Contributed)

MLA Dan Ashton (Contributed)

Penticton MLA won’t seek leadership of B.C. Liberals

Dan Ashton believes a moderate leader with broad appeal is needed

Dan Ashton, the Liberal MLA for the riding of Penticton, will not put his name forward as a candidate for the leadership of the party.

On Oct. 26, party leader Andrew Wilkinson announced he was stepping down after his party lost seats in the Oct. 24 election.

“Leading the B.C. Liberals has been a great honour, but now it’s time for me to make room for someone else to take over the role,” Wilkinson said.

READ ALSO: Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

READ ALSO: B.C. Votes 2020: Incumbent Dan Ashton heading towards third term in Penticton

Ashton, who describes himself as a “very compassionate conservative” within the party, said he is not the one to take the helm.

He said the B.C. Liberals attract a broad spectrum of supporters and members, and should be led by someone who is moderate and able to appeal to a wide range of potential members.

He added that replacing Wilkinson as leader is also a time for party members to examine and discuss the future of the party.

Wilkinson has said he will meet the new caucus when the final vote count is completed. This is expected by Nov. 16, as mail-in ballots have yet to be counted.

Some seats in the province could still change by the time the final vote count is completed.

In the Penticton riding, Ashton leads with 9,139 votes while his closest rival, Toni Boot of the New Democratic Party, has received 6,472 votes.

A total of 18,354 ballots were cast in advance polls and on election day. However, there are still up to 9,868 mail-in ballots still to be counted, and Ashton is waiting until the final vote count before stating a victory in this election.

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