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Speed dating for candidate support

Andrew Miller is one of several candidates seeking endorsement from the Kamloops and District Labour Council.
Image Credit: Barb Nederpel via Twitter

KAMLOOPS - If it works for dating why not for candidate endorsement? The Kamloops and District Labour Council chose to use a ‘speed dating’ style evening to interview city council candidates this week.

Barb Nederpel, first vice president of the council, says they had five city council candidates and one school board trustee candidate attend an informal round-table discussion on Tuesday. Not all of the candidates have publicly declared their intent to run but Nederpel is excited over the variety of potential candidates.

“We wanted the opportunity for as many affiliated members to get a personal feeling for them,” she says. “We wanted to get to the core of who these people really are.”

She says the candidates moved from table to table as members asked questions to get a better idea of where they all stand on the issues and then members got together after the candidates left to talk a bit more about what they learned. They will meet again next week to decide who to endorse.

“We’re not sure if we can endorse all of them,” Nederpel notes. “Endorsement is more than just a ‘hey we checked these guys out and we approve.’ We do support them financially, and offer campaign support as well.”

Endorsement from the council offers candidates the opportunity to better get their name out to the middle and working class people of Kamloops, and this is something she says more candidates should be aware of.

“We take it very seriously. Kamloops is one of the highest union-dense cities,” she points out. “The national average is 31 per cent, Kamloops is at 33 per cent. That represents 15,000 voters in Kamloops (and) it’s the middle class that really contributes to a thriving society.”

Based on what Nederpel saw at the event earlier this week she expects the time leading up to the election to be quite interesting, with many ‘dramatic, differing opinions.’

The council may host another event for candidates prior to the Nov. 15 election. In the meantime they will decide which candidate(s) get endorsement on Tuesday, Sept. 23.

So far all of the current council along with Bob Dieno, Dieter Dudy, Annette Glover, Mike O’Reilly, Peter Kerek, Dustin McIntyre and Andrew Miller have declared their intent to run for city council. Only Mr. Open Pitbelly, the performance activist art of local Elaine Sedgman, has stepped up to challenge Mayor Peter Milobar for his seat.

Nomination papers are currently available online and at City Hall and candidates must file those papers between Sept. 30 and Oct. 10. Elections will take place Nov. 15 for one mayor, eight councillors and five school trustees for Kamloops.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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