It’s not the first time he’s tried, but Penticton realtor Marshall Neufeld has now has a shot at political after winning the Conservative nomination for South Okanagan West Kootenay.
The local Conservative riding association finished their nomination process Saturday, with Neufeld winning 88 per cent of the votes over fellow nominee Rick DeJong — another nominee, Stephen Hill, withdrew from the race. A total of 649 party members voted in nomination meetings held in Castlegar, Grand Forks, Osoyoos and Penticton.
“I knew there was strong support. I was confident. Our team worked hard right from day one,” said Neufeld in a release. “However, I am overwhelmed by the tremendous turnout and by the final results.”
The 32-year-old Neufeld is a former president of the Penticton Conservative riding association and was also an aide to former Conservative MP Stockwell Day. He was the first to declare his intention to seek the conservative nomination for the new South Okanagan West Kootenay riding last December.
Neufeld also secured the services of John Brent, Day’s former campaign manager, who offered to be his campaign manager both for the nomination and the election.
The bulk of what will be South Okanagan West Kootenay at the next federal election in 2015, is currently represented by NDP MLA Alex Atamanenko, who announced his plans to retire last year. In contrast, Penticton, in contrast, has long been a conservative stronghold, currently under MP Dan Albas, who has elected to run in the West Kelowna riding in 2015.
“There will be a real race here in the next election,” said Neufeld in December, adding that he will fight for “common sense, conservative principles” if elected and that he is “a conservative through and through.”