Former teacher nominated to represent NDP in Boundary Similkameen

Sam Hancheroff chosen by party members after former NDP candidate drops out

Sam Hancheroff will represent the NDP in the riding of Boundary Similkameen.

Sam Hancheroff will represent the NDP in the riding of Boundary Similkameen.

Sam Hancheroff has spent his entire life in the Boundary Similkameen; something that he feels is key to electability as the NDP candidate for the riding.

“Also I have the experience, in the sense that I have been in community politics for 30 years and as a school trustee now for three terms,” said Hancheroff, who is also a trustee for the Kaleden irrigation district, as he formally was for the Okanagan Falls irrigation district.

“I do have a lot of people that know me and I am quite aware of the issues. I am not a one-issue candidate,” said the former teacher. Hancheroff taught school in Okanagan Falls for three decades, and now lives in Kaleden with his wife, Barbara Paterson.

About 70 party members turned out Saturday for a nomination meeting to select the NDP candidate for Boundary Similkameen in the May 14 provincial election. Along with Hancheroff, Oliver Coun. Rhonda Bruce and Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor were vying for the position.

The late nomination meeting — the writ will be dropped April 16 — was needed after the riding’s former NDP candidate, Marji Basso, suddenly resigned in January.

Hancheroff doesn’t think the late start will affect his campaign. Unlike his B.C. Liberal opponent, Linda Larson, Hancheroff said the B.C. NDP followed a democratic process to select their candidate, rather than the party executive making the selection.

That means, he said, that he has been campaigning since he was confirmed as a potential candidate.

“I already have started the campaign, now I am jumping into the next level,” said Hancheroff, adding he is ready to step up from community politics.

“At this level, fortunately, it doesn’t matter what political party you belong to, but you always agree … you agree to do what you have to,” said Hancheroff. “We agree on policies that are going to benefit the students, it doesn’t matter what political stripe or following. The same with the water district.

“This next level is going to be a little different, honestly, but I know I can handle it. I have a thick skin, I know how to discuss issues and I am a consensus builder.”

At this point, Hancheroff is not planning a leave of absence for the election campaign and hasn’t decided yet when he will step down from his trustee positions, should he be elected as MLA.

“I probably will. Honestly, I am not looking that far ahead,” he said, adding that he has checked with both groups and been informed that he is not in conflict at this time.

“Legally I am allowed to do this, but I am just trying to make sure I provide the time for everything,” said Hancheroff.

Larson has already stated she will be taking a leave of absence from her duties as an Oliver councillor.