ELECTION 2015: Campaign managers weigh in on race

Managers played a key role in the Kelowna-Lake Country election

When successful Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr first sat down with the man who would become his campaign manager, Wayne Pierce told him he had a better chance of climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen than beating incumbent Conservative Ron Cannan.

A little over three months later, on Monday night with Pierce by his side, Fuhr made that climb —  figuratively —  by beating Cannan to become the first Liberal elected here since 1969.

And the first person Fuhr publicly thanked was Pierce.

In this election, Pierce, and his counterparts with the Conservative campaign, Ken Lang, and with the NDP, Maria Tokarchuk, played pivotal roles as not only the behind-the-scenes leaders but also as the chief strategists.

While the candidates were out front, it was the campaign managers who organized the Herculean efforts to try to get them elected, keep the campaigns on course, prepare their candidates and get them to the finish line.

This was no small feat in the longest federal election campaign this country has ever seen at 11 weeks.

“There’s really no secret to it,” said Pierce, a 69-year-old former banker and businessman who managed Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran’s successful civic election campaign last year.

“You need great volunteers, key people to lead (different aspects of the campaign) and rely on them to do their jobs.”

For Lang, who has managed three other federal election campaigns in the past, all in the Lower Mainland, the involvement of young people was also a highlight in this campaign.

Lang said all the talk of change likely resonated with young voters this time around and that seemed to account for much of their interest.

But he said the biggest factor in Cannan failing to hold on the seat that he first won in 2006 was likely the redrawing of the riding’s boundary that took an estimated 22,000 people out in Kelowna and placed them in the new Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding.

While Tokarchuk could not be reached for this article, in this election the local NDP tripled its volunteer base and donations during the campaign, according to candidate Norah Bowman.

But it was not enough as Bowman came a distant third to Fuhr and Cannan.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Group of cowboys on horses out rounding up cattle, 1888. The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is celebrating Vernon Winter Carnival’s Wild West theme with a virtual trip back in time looking at the ranching days. (GVMA #5021)
Museum rounds up Vernon’s wild west past

Vernon Winter Carnival event, Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch, Feb. 9

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

Virtual programming will assist the Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society in spreding environmental education. (ABNCS photo)
Vernon nature centre online with gaming grant

Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society benefits from provincial funds

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

The Kamloops RCMP detachment is asking for the public’s help in finding Kayne Pasco, a Vernon man wanted on several B.C. charges. (Contributed)
Wanted Vernon man believed to be in Kamloops: RCMP

Kayne Pasco, 27, is wanted in the province for several offences

Members of the Vernon Flying Club. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
WATCH: ‘Total freedom’: pilots fly in formation over Okanagan cities

Black Press Media got a first-hand look at what the Okanagan looks like, from above

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Central Okanagan school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say the person is self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read