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Politics

Kelowna-Lake Country turns blue again with Gray victory

Candidates react to federal election results in Kelowna-Lake Country. Jules Knox reports.

After four years of Liberal red, the riding of Kelowna-Lake Country flipped back to Conservative blue on Monday night.

Conservative candidate Tracy Gray defeated incumbent Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr by a wide margin, earning 45.7 per cent of the vote.

Raw interview with Stephen Fuhr
Raw interview with Stephen Fuhr

With all 231 polls reporting, Gray garnered 31,037 votes. Fuhr was second at 32.6 per cent and 22,150 votes.

Justin Kulik of the NDP was third at 12.1 per cent (8,229) with Travis Ashley of the Green Party in fourth at 7.4 per cent (5,025).

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In her victory speech, Gray said the win “was really about you and this is about the people of Kelowna-Lake Country.”

Tracy Gray’s raw interview after victory speech
Tracy Gray’s raw interview after victory speech

The riding has historically been Conservative, though in 2015 Fuhr was part of the Liberal wave that swept across the nation. Fuhr, with 46.2 per cent of the vote, defeated incumbent MP Ron Cannan, who was second at 39.8 per cent.

“When I ran in 2015, I knew 40 people and I have a lot of good friends now and a lot of support,” Fuhr said in defeat Monday night. “And that support is what enabled me to deliver for this community.

“That’s something I’ll always be proud of and it won’t change. (Monday’s results) doesn’t change what the last four years were all about. So I’m going to focus on that.”

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Asked what it was like watching Monday’s results, Fuhr said “it was pretty painful. It was painful in 2015. It happens very slowly and I’m also very concerned about the bigger picture.

“I want a lot things this community wants. I want stronger action on climate change. I want pharmacare for everybody. I want those things, too, and, luckily, we’ve got a Liberal government that’s going to be backed by the NDP, and we’re going to move forward on some of those things.

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“I just won’t be there to help out.”

Federal Election 2019: The wins, losses and surprises of the federal election
Federal Election 2019: The wins, losses and surprises of the federal election