West Kelowna  

NDP kicks off campaign

The NDP candidate in the upcoming Kelowna West byelection kicked off her campaign Saturday morning by officially opening her campaign office.

Premier John Horgan announced earlier this week the byelection will be held on Valentine's Day, prompting Shelley Cook to kick off her campaign at her office in the Westbank Shopping Centre.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people coming out to celebrate the start of this campaign,” said Cook in a a statement. “Kelowna West deserves a real representative in government who will stand up for what matters to this community. I’m eager to spend the next few weeks showing people I’m ready to start working for them.”

Cook was joined by the NDP's MLA for the Vancouver-Hastings riding, Shane Simpson, who was in town for meetings with the government's Poverty Reductions Committee.

“I’m thrilled to be here in Kelowna West, a riding the BC Liberals took for granted for so long,” said Simpson in a statement.

“Shelley Cook would be an exceptional voice for the people of Kelowna West and a valued member of John Horgan’s team. I hope we get the opportunity to work together in Victoria.”

Cook is the former executive director of the John Howard Society of the Central and South Okanagan. She lost to former Premier Christy Clark in last spring's election. 

Clark handily won the Kelowna West seat for the BC Liberals, but quit after the NDP formed government with the help of the Green Party in June.

Cook is facing off against BC Liberal candidate and former MLA for the riding, Ben Stewart, Green Party candidate Robert Stupka, and Libertarian Party candidate Kyle Geronazzo.

Stewart stepped down from the position in 2013, allowing then-party leader Clark to run in a byelection when she wasn't elected in her Vancouver-Point Grey riding. 

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