Chilliwack New Democrats chose former Chamber of Commerce executive director Patti MacAhonic on Saturday as their candidate for the May 14 provincial election.
MacAhonic faced off against Fraser Valley Regional District Area A director Dennis Adamson, who had previously lost to Chilliwack-Hope MLA Gwen O'Mahony for the NDP nomination for the 2012 byelection.
O'Mahony was acclaimed to run again in Chilliwack-Hope on Saturday.
again in Chilliwack-Hope on Saturday.
In a speech before the vote, MacAhonic expressed her belief that Chilliwack is a progressive city.
"I believe that the NDP is well-positioned to win the province," she said. "And don't we want Chilliwack at the table?"
After MacAhonic's speech, which drew considerable applause, Adamson, too, said he was impressed.
"Wow, that was good," he said before addressing the crowd with-
before addressing the crowd with-out notes and getting a little choked up. "Chilliwack families deserve better. Chilliwack families deserve the NDP."
There were about 150 people at the meeting held at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Voting took place after the speeches and the delegates chose MacAhonic.
The former Chamber executive director joked about the controversial situation in which the Chamber
sial situation in which the Chamber board told her she had to resign if she won Saturday's nomination.
"I'm officially unemployed as you all may know," MacAhonic said after being chosen.
After she spoke, O'Mahony said a few words before party leader Adrian Dix stepped up.
"I think Chilliwack is NDP country," Dix said. "I think [MacAhonic] and Gwen are going to make an extraordinary team of NDP candidates in Chilliwack."
MacAhonic will face off against BC Liberal candidate John Martin who finished third in the Chilliwack-Hope byelection last spring running for the BC Conservatives.
Martin lost to O'Mahony who has represented the riding in Victoria since then.
O'Mahony will face off against BC Liberal Laurie Throness whom she beat to win the seat in the 2012 byelection.
Asked how strategy might shift in Chilliwack and Chilliwack-Hope if the BC Conservatives don't come up with viable candidates, Dix said the notion of vote-splitting on the right is an insult to voters.
"I think it's so disrespectful to the voters," Dix said. "As if the 68 per cent of people who chose not to vote for the Liberals in the byelection, if they were given fewer choices would somehow have rallid to the govenment side? I don't think that's the case. I think you