NDP members set to select candidate in Fraser-Nicola

By James Peters
March 17, 2017 - 12:30pm Updated: March 17, 2017 - 5:41pm

MERRITT, B.C. — Fraser-Nicola voters will find out who their NDP option will be tomorrow in a rare contested nomination that has led nearly right to the drop of the writ.

Former longtime MLA Harry Lali is facing Lower Nicola Indian Band Chief Aaron Sam.

Lali says he wants to win, but doesn't consider Sam a political enemy.

"There are no enemies with him. Our political enemies are the B.C. Liberal and Jackie Tegart who has been missing in action for the last four years. People are fed up, and they are looking for a change after 16 years of Liberal neglect of Fraser-Nicola."

Lali served all but one term as MLA for the Merritt area between 1991 and 2013, when he was defeated by Tegart.

"One can never be overconfident, but I am feeling pretty good about it. I'm out there with my team, getting everyone out to vote. We had a pretty good turnout, a high turnout actually in the advance poll last weekend. It will be another high turnout again tomorrow."

This is Sam's first foray into provincial politics, but he says he doesn't lack experience.

"My experience as a lawyer for over ten years, as well as being chief for almost four years, working with industry, CEOs, as well as working with ministers in government — I have plenty of experience," said Sam.

Sam says he believes voters are looking for change, and he's confident he can bring a new perspective.

"I believe that the majority of the people in the riding want somebody new. They want someone with experience, like myself, but they want a new voice. I believe that if I become — and when I become — the candidate tomorrow, I'll have the best chance of beating the Liberals."

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