Two more Okanagan candidates have thrown their hats in B.C.’s election ring, vying for the public’s vote to become Penticton, B.C.,’s next MLA.
The BC Green Party announced on Thursday that Ted Shumaker will represent the party in the Penticton riding, while Keith MacIntyre announced he will run for the BC Libertarian Party.
Shumaker and MacIntyre will face off against incumbent Liberal candidate Dan Ashton and NDP candidate Toni Boot in the Oct. 24 provincial election.
The Penticton electoral district encompasses the communities of Naramata and Chute Lake to the east of Okanagan Lake, as well as Summerland and Peachland to the west.
“B.C. Greens are needed in the Legislature now more than ever as we work to recover from this pandemic in a way that is more sustainable and equitable,” BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau said while announcing a fresh slate of candidates.
MacIntyre said he’s taking the jump into politics because he’s frustrated that BC NDP Leader John Horgan called a snap election and COVID-19 restrictions infringe on people’s freedoms.
“Over the last several months, I have seen a massive loss of personal freedom and a government taking advantage of a public emergency,” he said.
MacIntyre has lived in Penticton for the last 10 years and is the owner of Big Bear Software. He’s also the president of the Okanagan School of the Arts.
Shumaker, 69, said he’s running for several reasons, including the importance of mental health and addiction services.
A former pharmacist for Interior Health, Shumaker said he’s lived in the South Okanagan since 1990, and that this is his first foray into politics.
Shumaker calls himself a regular guy, not a politician, adding he’s seeking help with his campaign.
Ashton is seeking a third term in Penticton, which is considered a Liberal stronghold. He said he is running on his record, such as securing funding for the hospital tower expansion.
Boot is taking a leave of absence as the mayor of Summerland to run as the NDP representative in the riding.
She said Penticton needs an advocate in the Legislature to put the needs of constituents first.
Ashton earned 14,470 votes in the 2017 election, or 53 per cent of the vote. Tarik Sayeed of the NDP placed second with 7,874 votes, or 28 per cent, and the BC Greens placed third.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.