Colin Basran came out the winner in Kelowna’s mayoral election race on Saturday, besting top challenger Tom Dyas and two other candidates.
Basran captured 18,118 votes in snaring his second term as mayor of the Okanagan’s largest city. That amounted to 56.4 per cent of the popular vote. Meanwhile, Dyas finished second with 9,518 votes, or 29.6 per cent of the vote. Bobby Kennedy was third voting at 2.671 (8.3 per cent) while Bob Schewe was fourth at 1,507 (4.7 per cent).
Earning seats on city council were Maxine DeHart (the leading vote-getter at 16,706), Gail Given (16,323), Luke Stack (15,150), Brad Sieben (14,675), Mohini Singh (14,586), Charlie Hodge (14,429), Ryan Donn (13,236) and Loyal Woodridge (12,495).
The battle between Basran and Dyas was politically intriguing, as the two were close friends prior to Dyas announcing his intention to become mayor. Last year, Dyas accompanied Basran on a trip to New York for the mayor’s 40th birthday. But once Dyas stepped into the election ring, the friendly gloves were off.
Dyas accused Basran of “weak leadership” and of “unacceptable” tax increases. Basran, meanwhile, questioned Dyas’ thoughts of building a new city hall and fire hall, adding Dyas had “Trump-style politicking.”
Basran won his first term in 2014, when he defeated former mayor Sharon Shepherd in that year’s civic election to become Kelowna’s leader. A former city councillor for one term before becoming mayor, Basran captured 56 per cent of the 2014 vote. His career includes being a former journalist and a realtor.
It was quiet at Tom Dyas’ election-night gathering at the Kanata Hotel before results started rolling in.
Dyas is a businessman and a former Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president. He was also highly involved in the Kelowna Rockets’ successful quest to host the 2020 Memorial Cup as chairperson of the team’s bid committee.
Kennedy is the owner of a skateboard shop in the downtown core, while Schewe was a former bylaw officer in Kelowna.