By ROY WOOD
Former Oliver mayor Ron Hovanes says he will likely seek the Liberal nomination to replace Linda Larson as MLA for Boundary-Similkameen.
Political rising star Petra Veintimilla won’t rule out a run at the nomination but says, “I don’t have any plans to (run) at this time.”
Larson announced last month that she will not seek a third term. A nomination process to replace her will unfold in the fall.
“I’ve been very much keeping an eye on things provincially and I’ve always had an interest,” Hovanes told ODN this morning. “It’s very likely that I’ll let my name stand. … We’re ready, as a couple, a team, to go forward. But I’m not actively out there campaigning at the moment.”
Hovanes said he hopes his upset loss in last October’s mayoral election won’t work against his chances of capturing the Liberal nomination: “I would hope that people would look at whoever puts their names forward, just to look at their track record and who they are and the commitment that they are showing.”
After serving two terms as a councillor and three as mayor, Hovanes was upset by newcomer Martin Johansen in his run for another term in the mayor’s chair.
This won’t be Hovanes’ first run at provincial office. He sought the Liberal nomination in 2008, but lost out to then-Osoyoos Mayor John Slater.
Conversations about the Boundary-Similkameen Liberal nomination usually include Oliver Councillor Veintimilla, but she told ODN this morning she has no plans to run, although she stopped short of ruling out a run for the nomination. “No, I’m not ruling it out. I wouldn’t rule anything out if the timing and the conditions were right.”
Veintimilla is seen as a rising political star, with strong connections in the business and other communities. She topped the polls in her first run for a council seat in 2014 and again in October.
She told ODN that provincial office is something that may be in her future: “(It’s) definitely something that I’ve thought about and I can see that as something I would consider in the future for sure. (But) for this fall, I don’t have any plans at this time.”
Boundary-Similkameen Liberal riding association president Everett Baker told ODN the nomination meeting will be held in the fall.
He said he expects there won’t be a provincial election at least until the spring, but, “We want to be ready. … The riding association wants to be prepared and have a chance to introduce the candidate across the riding” ahead of an election call.