KAMLOOPS - Mayor Peter Milobar wants to head to Victoria.
Milobar announced today his intention to seek the B.C. Liberal Party nomination for the Kamloops-North Thompson legislature seat. Milobar, mayor of Kamloops for the past seven years, would be running for the seat left vacant by Terry Lake. At a press conference, Milobar said he had to balance his current role against his ambitions.
"Do I want to try and attempt to take the next step, or do I want to continue on definitively as mayor," he said. "Certainly I had a lot of soul searching to do on that."
Milobar says he's been approached about seeking different political offices before, and that now seems like the ideal time for him to make that step.
"We were up through the North Thompson valley over the weekend and it was just wonderful the reception I was receiving," he said. "That really did solidify my decision to seek the nomination."
He was first elected to public office in 2002 as a city councillor and won two elections for council before running for mayor after Lake moved to provincial politics in 2008. Milobar has won three mayoral elections, the last in 2014. He's also sat as the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board chair.
Local leaders were on hand for Milobar's announcement, including half of city council, Sun Peaks Al Raine and former MLA Kevin Krueger. Milobar thanked the crowd for attending the announcement in front of the MacArthur Island Sports Centre.
Lake announced last week he is stepping back from provincial politics and won’t run in next provincial election in May 2017. Lake wasn’t the first Kamloops mayor to move to provincial politics, with James Reginald Colley moving from City Hall to provincial legislature in 1924. And Phil Gaglardi reversed the move by becoming mayor of Kamloops in 1988 after serving as MLA for the city for 20 years.
Steve Puhallo, executive director of the North Shore Business Improvement Area, announced his intentions to run for the same position last week.
Barbara Nederpel, a health care worker, announced she was seeking the NDP nomination for the same riding Aug. 22. Because no one is running against her for the NDP nomination, she will be acclaimed in September by the party.
Incumbent Minister of Transportation Todd Stone will be the Liberal candidate for Kamloops-South Thompson. Nancy Bepple is looking for the NDP nomination for the riding, but may face competition from a yet unknown challenger.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.