Marc Dalton will be running for the Conservatives against Liberal MP Dan Ruimy in this fall’s federal election.
The former provincial Liberal MLA won the nomination for the Conservative party in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge on Saturday afternoon. Some 1,200 registered party members took part in the vote, held at the Fraserview Community Hall.
He got more votes than his opponent Davis Friesen, but the party did not release the margin of victory to the public.
Dalton said there was a lot of energy in the room, it was a positive nomination process for the party, and he leaves the nomination knowing local Conservatives will give him a good base of support.
After a busy year-long campaign to get the nomination, Dalton said he will take a one-day breather and then work toward the election in October.
“We need to harness the feelings people have toward the government, and win the riding,” he said.
“As the opposition it’s important to hold the government to account, and there’s a lot to account for.”
He said Friesen has good experience, is well spoken, and predicts “We haven’t heard the last from him.”
Friesen said he is holding his head up, and “I want to say I’m really proud of the effort my team put in.”
He publicly congratulated Dalton, and echoed the new candidate’s comments about the party being motivated, and better for the competitive nomination process.
“There’s a lot of enthusiastic Conservatives here,” Friesen said. “It’s all about the fall now.”
Friesen is a Pitt Meadows resident who mentored under some well known local Conservatives. He worked with former MP Randy Kamp, as campaign manager for Conservative candidate Mike Murray and as constituency assistant to Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack-Hope.
Dalton ran on experience, noting he taught Friesen in high school. He served as MLA in Maple Ridge-Mission for eight years.
He has been chosen to carry the Conservative banner against Ruimy, who won the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge riding in October 2015 as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swept to power.
It was a close race last election, as Ruimy got 17,605 votes, for 34 per cent of the vote in the riding. Conservative Murray was second with 16,373 votes, or 31 per cent, and Bob D’Eith of the NDP was third with 15,450 votes, or 30 per cent. Green Party candidate Peter Tam was fourth with 2,202 votes, or four per cent, while independent candidate Steve Ranta had 516.
The riding had been a Conservative stronghold, long held by Randy Kamp from his election in 2004. Before that, Grant McNally had it for the Reform Party and Canadian Alliance, since 1997.
The NDP and Green Party have so far not announced a candidate for the riding.
The 43rd Canadian federal election will be held on Oct. 21, 2019.