Renee Merrifield Wasylyk will try to hold onto Kelowna-Mission for the BC Liberals

Liberals choose Merrifield

Renee Merrifield Wasylyk is taking another stab at politics - this time provincially.

Merrifield has been hand picked by Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson to carry the party banner in the Kelowna-Mission riding when voters go to the polls Oct. 24.

The riding became vacant when current Liberal MLA Steve Thomson announced in December he would not seek re-election in order to "pass the torch to the next generation of leadership in Kelowna-Mission."

He underwent triple bypass heart surgery just months after being re-elected to a third term.

The riding has been a Liberal stronghold since it was created in 2001. Longtime Liberal Sindi Hawkins held the seat for three terms, including one term when it was known as Okanagan West.

Thomson assumed the seat in 2009, and was re-elected in 2013 and 2017.

Merrifield, CEO of Troika Developments, ran for the Conservative nomination in Kelowna-Lake Country in the last federal election, but lost out in a sometimes bitter fight to Tracy Gray.

Gray retook that seat federally.

Candidates chosen to run for the Liberals were informed after Premier John Horgan made the election call.

Others hoping to seek the nomination were also informed they had not been selected.

Incumbents Liberal MLAs Norm Letnick (Kelowna-Lake Country) and Ben Stewart (Kelowna Westside) are both seeking re-election.

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