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Ashton wins Liberal candidacy

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Dan Ashton receives congratulations from Janice Perrino after winning the Liberal candidacy to represent the Penticton riding in next year's provincial election. 

 

It took three ballots but once all was said and done, Penticton mayor Dan Ashton was chosen as the candidate who will represent the B.C. Liberals in the next provincial election.

Ashton beat out Summerland mayor Janice Perrino, former school board chair Connie Denesiuk and local businessman Mark Ziebarth Saturday at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

In his acceptance speech, Ashton praised his opponents and expressed how honoured he was to be in their company.

He joked that even though he rehearsed his campaign speech (made in the morning) many times to make sure it didn't exceed five minutes, he took too long to read it and he still had a final page left when he was called for time.

"The thing I didn't get a chance to say is that our No. 1 priority is that we have to see the NDP doesn't get elected and it's up to each and every one of us to make sure it doesn't happen here and that it doesn't happen in the province of British Columbia," Ashton told the crowd.

Flanked by his two children, Ashton believes healthcare will be the top issue in the May 14 election with voters in Penticton.

"We know what has to be done in Penticton with a brand new ambulatory care unit," he said.

The final tally and who placed in what position were not publicly announced. It was revealed that a third ballot was needed.

The party used a preferential ballot system where voters ranked their choices one through four. A candidate needed to win with 50 per cent of the vote, plus one.

Ashton is expected to remain as mayor and then take a leave of absence once the writ is dropped.

Ashton's opponent is unknown at this time.

The local NDP riding is having its meeting Nov. 18.

Nominations close tonight at midnight for the Penticton riding. At this moment only David Finnis and Dick Cannings have declared although there are rumours that Cameron Phillips, the NDP candidate in 2008, will throw his hat in the ring.

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