KAMLOOPS — Among the 27 candidates, there were three winners in Saturday's by-election — but there could be a whole host of future winners in that bunch, too.
Ken Christian was always going to win the mayor's chair. For years he has been the city's most popular politician, regularly garnering more votes than anyone else running for any other civic office. Those voters certainly weren't going to turn against him in favour of lesser-experienced, lesser-known candidates.
The council race was much closer, with well-established community leaders Kathy Sinclair and Ray Dhaliwal snapping up the two openings.
But there were a lot more quality candidates in this race than just those three. Besides familiar names like Krueger, Watson and Bepple, there were a lot of people with fresh energy and sharp ideas that would be assets to Kamloops city hall.
So I say to them: run again.
In a little more than one year's time, the city will vote again, this time choosing the entire council. Even if all incumbent councillors decide to let their names stand for re-election, there will be enough rancor directed at them to ensure opportunity for you. You will have the experience of this campaign fresh in your mind, and you will far better prepared for the door-knocking and public speaking demands that encounter a successful candidate. Not only that, you will have a little more name recognition, and that's valuable currency in the economy of local politics.
Forget the 21 per cent turnout. By-elections always get numbers like that. People in this city do care about the issues placed at the feet of city council, and they do want competent representatives.
You printed those signs up. Stash them in your garage with your winter tires, and take them out next year at about the same time.