The BC Liberals have been elected in our two local ridings.
Tom Shypitka will succeed Bill Bennett in Kootenay East after securing over 55 per cent of the vote.
Shypitka, who was elected Cranbrook City Councillor in 2014, struggled to find a single word to describe the feeling of being named MLA Tuesday night at the Heritage Inn in Cranbrook.
He says he was overwhelmed, excited, exuberant, nervously happy before admitting he has never really felt something like this before.
Shypitka admits he was shocked as results came in and that he was declared the winner just over an hour after polls closed.
He was very touched with the early support from ballot boxes out of Cranbrook and Sparwood, which is called the heartbeat of the Elk Valley’s economy.
Shypitka ran on the promise of creating and retaining jobs in the Elk Valley.
Meanwhile, Doug Clovechok will bring Liberal rule to Columbia River-Revelstoke after the riding was represented by the NDP for the past three terms.
Clovechok, who had 45.75 per cent of ballots cast in his name, has yet to be reached for comment.
The Liberals squeaked out a razor-thin victory over the NDP and it was not enough seats for the incumbent to form a majority government.
The Liberals won 43 seats to New Democrats’ 41 for the first minority government in the province in 65 years.
There were some close finishes, so the final tally might change once absentee ballots are counted and some recounts done.
New Democrats won Courtenay-Comox riding by just nine votes.
Stay tuned for more reaction about the results in our two local ridings.
– Kootenay East MLA elect Tom Shypitka
– Josh Hoffman