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Kelowna, B.C. MLA raised $93K in campaign for leadership of BC Liberals

First-term MLA Renee Merrifield, who represents the riding of Kelowna-Mission, placed sixth out of seven in February’s leadership race. Facebook

Kelowna, B.C., politician Renee Merrifield raised just over $90,000 in what was a failed bid earlier this year to become leader of the BC Liberal party.

This week, Elections B.C. released fundraising data on the seven-person race in February, which was won by Kevin Falcon, who, incidentally, also raised the most money.

Merrifield, a first-term MLA for Kelowna-Mission, raised $93,901 en route to a sixth-place finish. Falcon, meanwhile, raised eight times as much, hauling in $816,797.18.

A breakdown of the total political contributions raised:

  • Kevin Falcon: $816,797.18
  • Michael Lee: $568,046.02
  • Ellis Ross: $487,211.91
  • Val Litwin: $157,382.69
  • Gavin Dew: $119,638.07
  • Renee Merrifield: $93,901.30
  • Stan Sipos: $42,029.21
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On election day, Sipos was eliminated after the first ballot, having drawn just 1.2 per cent support. Merrifield was next to last at 3.2 per cent, with Falcon in the lead at 47 per cent.

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After the second ballot votes were counted, Merrifield was the next person eliminated, with just 3.3 per cent support. Dew and Litwin were then respectively eliminated, leaving Lee, Ross and Falcon slugging it out in the fifth and final ballot.

Falcon came out on top with 52 per cent of the vote, with Ross third at 33 per cent and Lee fourth at 14 per cent.

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The maximum allowable donation under B.C. rules is $1,268. In Merrifield’s campaign, 49 people donated the maximum amount.

Merrifield, who also donated the maximum amount to her campaign, also received $16,733 from donations totalling $250 or less.

Notably, this weekend the BC Liberals will be gathering in Penticton for an annual convention. The gathering will run June 10-12 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

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