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Tory ex-candidate Hill says Neufeld jumping gun
The Conservative candidate in the 2011 federal election says he hasn’t decided whether to seek the nomination in the new riding of South Okanagan-West Kootenays.
Stephen Hill, however, believes Marshall Neufeld jumped the gun when Neufeld announced last week that he’s seeking the nomination.
“I’m giving it some consideration,” said Hill, “But we’ve got to wait for the EDA (electoral district association) to form first… We have no authorization, no approval, no nominating board, no nothing.”
Hill said his decision would depend on his health, his family and his business, although he acknowledged his wife isn’t keen for him to run again.
Hill, from Rossland, is president of a financial services business with offices in Trail and Grand Forks.
Recently Neufeld, a former parliamentary assistant to Stockwell Day, announced he is seeking the nomination.
Neufeld, from Penticton, also said some key members of Day’s team are supporting his bid.
Hill finished second in 2011, with 19,273 votes, behind Alex Atamanenko who won with 25,206 votes.
Hill notes that he increased his party’s total votes by more than 2,000 votes over the 2008 results and earned nearly 40 per cent of the vote in the present riding of B.C. Southern Interior.
“Unfortunately, there was no Green and no Liberal candidate of any quality so it allowed the NDP to get elected, which is unfortunate,” Hill said. “But we’ll fix that this time.”
The party must first authorize the new EDA so it can strike a nomination committee to look for candidates, Hill said.
Neufeld was not the first person to announce plans to seek the nomination. Penticton councillor Helena Konanz also announced in mid-November that she would seek the nomination before withdrawing her name two weeks later.
Penticton businessman Jason Cox, who unsuccessfully sought the nomination in Okanagan-Coquihalla in 2011, is also said to have expressed interest, but could not be reached for comment.
Among other federal political parties, only Margaret Maximenko of the NDP has so far announced that she is seeking her party’s nomination.