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Kelowna  

Mayoralty bid: 'God's calling'

A calling from God has prompted Kelly Row to enter political life.

A self professed 'follower of Jesus Christ,' Row says he is answering God's call to seek the mayor's chair in Kelowna.

"The reason I am running is because of my relationship with God, it's not for me. It's not something I necessarily aspire to," says Row.

"I am hoping to run on a platform where it's about God and God first. He needs people that understand and listen to him and are in a relationship with him in places of leadership."

Row, 46, grew up in Red Deer, AB.

He spent seven years in the recreation department in Sylvan Lake before moving to Kamloops as a news/sports reporter.

Row has been in Kelowna for the past two years, currently he is a frontline worker at the downtown Gospel Mission.

"I am coming in as a new face, I'm on the fringes and that's why I thought the earlier I got this out the better," says Row of his decision to announce early.

"The campaign is going to have to get some momentum if I am going to win. We are going to have to get out, get people together, get community groups together and spread my message."

Aside from seven years in Sylvan Lake, Row has no municipal experience.

He explains his decision to run for mayor and not council.

"I believe we need someone of the Christian faith over top of the city as mayor. That's my belief and where I sit with God," says Row.

"I believe he's spoken to me about these things. I've looked into it to see if there are any candidates coming up that I can support. I felt like this was my call."

In a Monday morning press conference announcing his candidacy, Row spoke on several issues.

On transportation:

"I believe the bus system we have is quite extensive, but I don't believe there is enough early morning service for people who are working or late service for those that are coming off work late."

On West Kelowna:

"I believe the strength of this area would be with both sides together. I believe that's what God wants to do. He wants to bring people together and put them under one roof. I believe that ties in with the bridge."

On Community:

"We need community centres where people can go. We have some box experiences, the Y, the H2O Centre, the libraries in each area, but when we develop we need to think about community centres, places for people to gather so they have a home within their community."

On Taxes:

"Property taxes are something we handle, what we bring in we have to disburse. I believe there are people out there that are multi land owners. Maybe there is a way that we can up the taxes for the more land you own."

Prayer in Council Chambers:

I would be in favour of it, but that's a team decision. Whoever's on council has to be comfortable with that. For myself, I know I would be entering council chambers prayerfully minded.

Row is the second official candidate to enter the race for mayor.

Current Councillor, Colin Basran, declared his candidacy last month.

Current Mayor, Walter Gray has already announced he would not be seeking another term.

Voters go to the polls to elect a new mayor and council November 15.

 

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