UPDATE: Kelowna-Lake Country returns to its roots and elects Conservative Tracy Gray - InfoNews

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UPDATE: Kelowna-Lake Country returns to its roots and elects Conservative Tracy Gray

Conservative candidate Tracy Gray has pulled ahead in Kelowna-Lake Country.
October 21, 2019 - 9:16 PM

Kelowna-Lake Country voters returned to their roots and elected Conservative candidate Tracy Gray.

With 77 per cent of polls reporting and 45.8 per cent of the vote in her favour, Gray took the riding. Incumbent Liberal Stephen Fuhr had 32.8 per cent of the vote. 

In front of a crowd of about 125, Gray thanked Fuhr for his hard work and said she is committed to serving all residents of Kelowna-Lake Country. She said she and her team knocked on more than 54,000 doors.

While her door knocking campaign was extensive, history was also working in her favour.

Fuhr was the only Liberal elected to the riding for 50 years. Prior to that was in 1968, when Liberal candidate Bruce Howard was swept up in a wave of Trudeaumania. He, like Fuhr, lost the follow-up election when the prime minister fell out of favour with western voters.

Fuhr touched on the reversal of fortune that he and his fellow western Canadian Liberals faced following an emotional concession speech, noting that the election map is blue right from the Manitoba border to B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

"Even Ralph Goodale got knocked out," he said, adding that it's funny because he'd been trying to position himself as the Ralph Goodale of the South Central Interior.  Fuhr said that the loss was less about him and more about how the party was perceived in recent months. 

Stephen Fuhr tears up as he answers reporters' questions after Conservative Tracy Gray took the Kelowna-Lake Country riding.
Stephen Fuhr tears up as he answers reporters' questions after Conservative Tracy Gray took the Kelowna-Lake Country riding.

"I don't think I left anything on the table, I don't have any regrets and I wouldn't change anything —it is what it is," he said, adding later that it's been an honour to help the people in the region.  

Gray had a similar approach.

READ MORE: All you need to know for this election in Kelowna - Lake Country 

“This campaign is grassroots and down to earth — I’m focused on residents,” she said, while on a break between door-knocking days before the election.

In the early days the issue she’d heard most about is that people are having affordability challenges. She said it’s to do with paying more in taxes as well as everything else. Closer to the election, however, she’d heard more about the political leanings of area residents, with minds being more turned to the issues at hand.

“I would say as we are getting closer to the election, people are more decisive,” she said. “When I started it was connecting and hearing what’s important and today I’m hearing how people voted.”

Gray left her seat on Kelowna city council before the last municipal election and to no one's surprise ran for the Conservative nomination.

Well known in the community, Gray has built businesses in multiple sectors and volunteered extensively.

Stephen Fuhr is embraced by his partner Annie after Conservative Tracy Gray took the lead in Kelowna-Lake Country.
Stephen Fuhr is embraced by his partner Annie after Conservative Tracy Gray took the lead in Kelowna-Lake Country.

Liberal Stephen Fuhr is consoled by a supporter after Conservative Tracy Gray took the Kelowna-Lake Country riding.
Liberal Stephen Fuhr is consoled by a supporter after Conservative Tracy Gray took the Kelowna-Lake Country riding.

-This story was updated at 9:45 p.m.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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.

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