Provincial NDP candidate for Penticton riding pulls out of the race

Hilma LaBelle, who came forward a few weeks ago to announce her candidacy, said she is withdrawing.

The nomination meeting to select an NDP candidate for the 2017 provincial election is still two months away, but already has one of the contenders withdrawn their name.

Hilma LaBelle, who came forward a few weeks ago to announce her candidacy, says that personal matters were behind her decision to withdraw.

“It was a bit of a curve ball that occurred in our family unit,” said LaBelle, adding that it was a private and personal matter. “Like I say, life takes over and different priorities have come about and we have to pay attention to that.”

In a letter announcing her withdrawal, LaBelle thanks her supporters who shared her vision of a better region.

“One where the voices of the disadvantaged, disenfranchised are heard. Where diversity, environmental stewardship, food security and a thriving local economy are vital to regional prosperity,” wrote LaBelle. One where it is not just Families First, but people first.”

LaBelle said her withdrawal shouldn’t be looked at as any lack of commitment to those ideals, that she was in the race to win and to make a difference.

“I sincerely hope the constituents of the Penticton riding will keep these ideals in mind when voting in the provincial election in May,” wrote LaBelle.

LaBelle sent her good wishes to the other two nominees, Toni Boot and Tarik Sayeed, but declined to say if she would be supporting one or the other.