Columbia River–Revelstoke NDP select Gerry Taft as riding candidate

Gerry Taft will carry the NDP banner for the riding of Columbia River–Revelstoke in the 2017 election.

NDP candidate for the Columbia River–Revelstoke riding Gerry Taft. Photo: contributed

The Columbia River–Revelstoke NDP has chosen District of Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft to represent them in the 2017 provincial election.

Taft will replace Norm Macdonald, who announced earlier this year that he was retiring from provincial politics to get back into the classroom as a teacher.

The nomination came at an NDP gathering on Saturday, Oct. 15 in Golden.

Taft earned 163 of 250 votes cast. His lone rival Spring Hawes, also of Invermere council, earned 85 votes. Two ballots were spoiled.

In a statement, Taft said he was looking forward to campaigning.

“I am very grateful for the support I received from members across the constituency,” said Taft. “And I am thankful to my nominators and endorsers for the faith they have shown in me. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we build our campaign team across the region, and that work starts today.”

Taft will run against Doug Clovechok, who was selected as the BC Liberals candidate earlier this year. Clovechok lost to MLA Norm Macdonald in the last election, but was selected by local Liberals to take another run at it in 2017.

In a statement issued following his selection on Saturday, Taft got right into campaign mode by attacking his main rival.

“Everything Mr. Clovechok says is straight out of the BC Liberal playbook. A look at his Facebook and Twitter shows a mindless series of BC Liberal retweets and government press releases. That’s not what the people in this region want to hear. We get enough of that propaganda through government advertising.

“Voters in Columbia River Revelstoke want a representative who puts them first. They want to elect an MLA who will listen and speak on their behalf. Mr. Clovechok has always sided with the BC Liberals over the people he claims to want to represent.

Taft contrasted his record with Clovechok’s, saying he’d opposed the HST and Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort, saying Clovechok had supported them.

Taft also announced he would be touring the riding soon, including a visit to Revelstoke on October 25. Details of that visit are still pending.