Liberal candidate Eric Foster celebrates his victory in Vernon-Monashee Tuesday night at the Schubert Centre. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Liberal blue sweeps Vernon-Monashee riding

Eric Foster wins third consecutive term as riding MLA

It was Wednesday morning, about 12:30 a.m. Nova Scotia time, when Eric Foster made his triumphant call to his mom, Leytha, in Dartmouth.

As he’s done the past two terms, Foster’s first call after being elected MLA for Vernon-Monashee went to his beloved mother.

“She and my sister had been asleep, but they set their alarm for midnight and got up to watch the results,” said Foster, who won a third consecutive term in Tuesday’s provincial vote.

“The first call always goes to my mom.”

Foster, the Liberal candidate, comfortably defeated candidates Barry Dorval (NDP), Keli Westgate (B.C. Greens) and Don Jefcoat (Libertarian).

With 103 of 119 polls reporting as of press time, Foster had 11,987 votes. Dorval was second with 7,290, Westgate third at 5,262 and Jefcoat had garnered 296 votes.

Foster, accompanied by wife, Janice, shook hands with and gave hugs to close to 100 supporters who gathered at the Schubert Centre to watch the election results unfold.

As of 10:30 p.m., it still wasn’t clear which party had won the election.

“The provincial numbers are tight,” said Foster.

Given a raucous standing ovation by the crowd, Foster credited the work of his entire team in the victory, led by Janice and campaign manager Derek Hall.

“We had a job to do here in Vernon-Monashee, to win our riding, and we’ve done that,” he said. “We held up our end and I mean we.

“I’m feeling great. My crew did a great job for me. The people of Vernon-Monashee have been most generous again.”

Foster admitted to some nerves for a third straight provincial election.

“It’s the longest day of your life,” he said. “Somebody told me once if you’re not nervous on a day like this, you’re not really in the game. Yes, I was nervous.”

The former Mayor of Lumby also praised Dorval, Westgate and Jefcoat.

“We may not have agreed on policy, but it was a really nice campaign to be in,” said Foster. “I congratulate the other candidates on running a nice campaign.”

Fellow Liberal candidates Greg Kyllo (Shuswap) and Norm Letnick (Kelowna-Lake Country) were re-elected in their ridings, as was Christy Clark (Kelowna West).