February 15, 2018 12:38 am
Updated: February 15, 2018 8:55 pm

BC Liberal Ben Stewart wins Kelowna West byelection


Ben Stewart is heading back to the B.C. legislature.

The Quails’ Gate Estate Winery owner won a byelection in the riding of Kelowna West on Wednesday night.

In a tweet, Stewart said he was “humbled” by voters’ support.

“On behalf of the BC Liberal caucus, I would like to congratulate Ben Stewart on his exceptional victory in Kelowna West tonight,” said BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson.

“The message we are hearing tonight is clear: as the party with the most seats in the legislature, it is up to us to ensure British Columbians don’t face the consequences of the broken promises and reckless actions of the NDP.”

WATCH: Kelowna West byelection candidates

With 97 ballot boxes reporting, Stewart had 5,690 votes compared to 2,514 votes for BC NDP candidate Shelley Cook. BC Green Party candidate Robert Stupka had 1,437 votes.

The seat was left vacant when former premier Christy Clark quit politics.

Stewart gave up his seat, which was then known as Westside-Kelowna, in 2013 to allow Clark to have a seat in the legislature following the BC Liberals’ surprising election win where then then-premier lost her own seat of Vancouver-Point Grey.

READ MORE: Ben Stewart calling it quits

Following his resignation, Clark appointed Stewart as B.C. special representative in Asia.

He held the $150,000 a year job until Dec. 30, 2016. Stewart served in former premier Gordon Campbell’s cabinet, including as minister of agriculture.

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