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Tourism Kamloops CEO seeking Conservative Party nomination

Tourism Kamloops CEO Beverley DeSantis announces bid for Conservative nomination
Image Credit: Tourism Kamloops
February 13, 2021 - 12:50 PM

Tourism Kamloops CEO Beverley DeSantis is hoping to become the next MP in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, announcing her intention to run for the federal Conservative Party's nomination in the riding. And she may be one of at least a few candidates who will be announcing their intentions.

Outgoing Conservative MP Cathy McLeod said whoever is chosen to replace her on the next ballot will have her support.

"I welcome a strong slate of candidates into what should be a great local race," she said. "Right now what I've done is anyone who is interested in understanding more about the job, the good or bad, the commitment, the expectations. I'm happy to chat with anyone who is serious in terms of putting in their application."

DeSantis said she's been mulling over the choice to run for months if not a year.

"Carl, my husband, and I have been talking for quite a while (about her decision to run). It's not a decision you make lightly. When one of you in a couple is in politics both of you are," she said.

She decided to make the announcement now because she wanted to take control of the conversation, she said.

"When you have conversations about your intentions, the rumour mill starts to go," she said. "I'm a very transparent person... and wanted the announcement to come from me. I'm also very respectful about my position (as Tourism Kamloops CEO), my board, and my stakeholders. My intent is to be upfront and it's important a person such as myself, who is seeking a political future, be accountable and that I gain their support."

DeSantis meanwhile only had enthusiastic approval for current MP Cathy McLeod.

"She has done a phenomenal job. She has played such an important job in government, with the needs of our community and our country. I can only hope I can do her proud in this position and I will definitely be seeking her guidance moving forward," DeSantis said.

She also hopes to be one of many fiscal Conservatives filling Parliament Hill benches after the next election.

"Tourism is one of the hardest-hit industries globally so the trickle-down effect of a tourism economy is felt by the entire business community," she said. "I believe there should be a strong advocate for tourism and business to support our community coming out of this pandemic."

Perhaps surprisingly, DeSantis is urging political supporters of all stripes to get a Conservative Party membership locally, whether they plan to vote Conservative come election time or not.

"When it comes to nominations, you should ensure you have the right people in the right places so you have that right person who is speaking on behalf of the community as a whole," she said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Darren Rathwell 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.

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