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Federal Election 2015  

Smiles shine through defeat

Smiles returned to the faces of NDP supporters at Kelowna Community Theatre Monday night as the two candidates took to the podium and thanked their volunteers.

Norah Bowman, candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country, and Angelique Wood, candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, were greeted by cheering supporters as they entered the lobby.

As the reality of the NDPs defeat settled in, focus shifted to praising everyone involved in the campaign.

The loss still stung, though.

“I totally expected we were going to win or at least have a very good showing,” Wood said. “I’m very happy we have done what we’ve done, and I congratulate Dan (Albas) and Karley (Scott) on their stellar performances, but I am very surprised.”

Wood said she had been seeing plenty of support from people while knocking on doors, but didn’t see this translate to success at the polls.

“It doesn’t reflect the reality we had happen on the doorstep,” Wood said. “(We saw) a real vigour, not just sort of tepid.”

Both candidates thanked their volunteers on the campaign.

“We’re here to thank the volunteers,” Bowman said. “We’ve run a truly magnificent and inspiring campaign, and I’m so proud of what we’ve started here in Kelowna-Lake Country.”

“I can’t say enough about the volunteers we’ve had,” Wood agreed. “We’ve had an incredible group of people come out, and it’s been so humbling.”

Bowman congratulated Stephen Fuhr, the Liberal Party candidate who beat out incumbent Conservative MP Ron Cannan in Kelowna-Lake Country, while throwing a dig at Stephen Harper.

“I’d like to offer my congratulations to Stephen Fuhr for his victory tonight, and let’s throw in a round of applause for Harper’s last day,” she said to heavy applause.

Now the 78-day campaign period is over, Wood had bittersweet feelings about its end.

“It’s really been a way of life,” Wood said. “It will feel really empty in a couple days when I don’t have to race around to go to many different places, but it will be a welcome shift to go back to my life, my family.”

Bowman said she was looking forward to having more time with family again.

“This has been the longest campaign since the 19th century, and my partner and my mother and my son still like me.”

Bowman announced during her speech she will still be an NDP tomorrow, and was optimistic about her future with the party.

Wood said she would definitely consider running again.

“The things I still think need working on I believe are still going to need working on in four more years,” Wood said.

She said while she would much rather see a Liberal Party majority in office than a Conservative Party majority, but some parts of the Liberal platform concern her.

“I do have reservations about things like (Bill) C-51 but there are more things in the Liberal platform that appeal to me,” she said.

After thanks were given and pictures taken, live music kicked off, the din of laughter and conversation filled the room and food and drink was enjoyed.

“We may have lost the battle, but we won the buffet!" announced Chris Langer, a campaign volunteer.

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