Conservatives in the federal Kootenay-Columbia riding have nominated Rob Morrison to represent the party in the general election next October.
Morrison, a former RCMP officer and diplomat with the federal government, was the successful candidate in a race that included Wendy Booth and Dale Shudra, both from the Columbia Valley.
“It was a lot of hard work and at the end of the day, it was a team effort,” said Morrison. “All the people helping me out in my camp — it’s just so exciting that after a year and a half of visiting almost every community in our riding and getting support from the smallest area like Yahk and the biggest centres like Cranbrook — it was almost hard to believe.”
The nomination vote was held over the last five days in Nelson, Creston, Invermere, Sparwood and Cranbrook.
“It was extremely close, and everybody gave it their best shot and I was just very fortunate that my supporters came through with the votes,” said Morrison.
Morrison credited the grassroots nature of his campaign and travelling to many regional communities large and small for giving him an edge in the race.
“We want to take action, we want results but we don’t want to promise everything; we just want to get out there and represent our people with our concerns here. I think that’s what resonated with everyone and as a result, I think that’s where the support came from.”
The nomination race included challenges from Wendy Booth, a former director with the Regional District of East Kootenay and president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, and Dale Shudra, a businessman who was recently acclaimed to Radium Hot Springs council.
Richard Wake, the president of the Kootenay-Columbia Conservative Association, said it was a competitive race with three highly qualified candidates and that the group is looking forward to the federal election.
“On behalf of a strong and unified Electoral District Association, we look forward to working with Rob to ensure that this region is successful in taking back Kootenay-Columbia and putting a conservative presence in Ottawa,” said Wake, in a statement.
Morrison said issues raised by constituents on the campaign trail included immigration, proposed changes to firearms legislation, fiscal responsibility and public safety.
With the general election a year away, Morrison says he will remain on the campaign trail.
“We have such a large territory to cover,” said Morrison. “It’s really important for me to get out and get my face out there and get some recognition, visibilty and start talking to people in the communities so we can move forward in a unified team effort to get our voters out.”