We have a race.
Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce president Jason Cox and local realtor Marshall Neufeld both announced Thursday that they will seek the Okanagan Coquihalla Conservative candidacy for the next federal election.
The two join Penticton councillor Dan Albas in the riding association’s race to replace decade-long MP Stockwell Day following the cabinet minister’s retirement announcement last weekend.
Meanwhile, Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton has confirmed that he will not be putting his name forward as a possible fourth candidate.
A political science and history graduate from Okanagan University College, Cox has lived in the Okanagan for over 20 years, working in the banking industry since 2002.
The father of two has served on several civic and community committees and worked in Ottawa in a senior cabinet minister’s office. He has also done campaign work with Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, Peter MacKay, Tom Siddon and Sue Irvine.
Cox said his priorities as an MP would be to foster: a strong economy, safer communities, strong families and support for seniors.
“I am seeking the nomination because I believe that I can be a strong, effective representative for the people of Okanagan Coquihalla in Ottawa,” said Cox in his announcement.
“Our economy is finally showing signs of recovery and we must keep moving forward. We cannot afford a change in government that will move the country backwards.
“Okanagan Coquihalla deserves a candidate who can win the next election and build on the excellent legacy of Conservative Party success in this riding.”
Born, raised and educated in Penticton, Neufeld currently serves as one of two councillors from B.C. on the national board of the Conservative Party of Canada. A former parliamentary assistant to Day for two and a half years in Ottawa, he has also been active in the local riding association as chair of its policy committee, riding president, CEO and secretary.
Beyond politics, Neufeld has also served as the vice-chair of the Penticton Christian School Board and worked as a recreation assistant with the elderly at the Good Samaritan Society’s Village by the Station and at Lion’s Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.
He is also the real estate representative attached to the Penticton Place and Penticton Centre (P2) project which, if built, would bring a three-tower complex to the city’s downtown core, housing a major hotel, approximately 298 residential units, office space, a restaurant and other retail ventures.
According to Neufeld’s press release, the OUC Kelowna grad “offers a unique blend of youthful enthusiasm and practical experience of working in Ottawa.”
“His insights and wisdom have been valued by members of the Conservative Party across the country and he has been encouraged to seek this nomination from members both locally and nationwide,” it said.