Conservative Caputo excited to represent Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, 'advocate' for riding

Caputo cruises to victory

Conservative Frank Caputo won the race Monday to represent the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding in Ottawa — and it was never really close.

Caputo, a Crown prosecutor running for office for the first time, finished with about 43 per cent of the vote. He was hesitant to call it a victory but finally did so at about 11 p.m.

“I am absolutely honoured with the votes that the people of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo have [given] me,” he told Castanet outside his campaign office.

“It’s such an honour to have so many people put so much faith in me and I promise to do my best for them.”

Caputo maintained a double-digit lead over runner-up Bill Sundhu, NDP candidate, for nearly the entire night. The closest it got was at 9 p.m., with about a third of polls reporting, when Caputo’s lead shrunk to 8.1 per cent.

“I don’t know what to make of it [the margin of victory],” Caputo said.

“I’m just honoured about the fact that so many people put an X beside my name. It’s both humbling and honouring.”

Caputo said his first order of business will be to listen to his constituents.

“You have to be an MP to all, not an MP to some — and that means you listen to everybody who walks in your door,” he said.

“You do your best for them regardless of whether they voted for you, didn’t vote for you or didn’t vote at all. So my goal is to listen to and advocate for the people of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.”

Sundhu did not make any comments publicly on election night. His campaign manager called Castanet just after 9 p.m. to say he would have nothing to say until Tuesday.

Green candidate Iain Currie, who underperformed based on his showing in the 2019 federal election, was the first to congratulate Caputo, his former colleague in the Kamloops Crown counsel office. Currie visited Caputo’s Seymour Street campaign office at about 9 p.m.

Currie told Castanet he knows Caputo cares about the riding.

“The lives and wellbeing of Canadians is in the hands of the 338 people — 337 people and Frank — who are going to Ottawa to represent us,” Currie said.

“What an awesome responsibility and what an exciting challenge for my friend.”

Liberal Jesse McCormick, who placed third behind Sundhu with about 18 per cent of the vote, said he found plenty of takeaways on the campaign trail.

“Taking the time up in Barriere and sitting down with people and just having frank discussions about what do we need to do to get better,” he said.

“And it’s that idea that you have different political views but you share this objective — and this desire to see the life that you’re living be even better for your children and those who follow. Having those conversations in Barriere was important to me.”

As of 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, with more than 99 per cent of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo polls reporting, Caputo had amassed 27,597 votes — good for 42.9 per cent — followed by Sundhu’s 18,618 and McCormick’s 11,618.

Further down the ballot, Corally Delwo of the People’s Party of Canada finished with 3,763 votes, followed by Currie’s 2,375 votes. Independents Bob O’Brien and Wayne Allan tallied 277 and 140 votes, respectively.

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