MLA Laurie Throness says experience with former MP will come in handy as he begins his work as a public servant.

Throness ready to take on riding

New MLA has working history with area's former MP Chuck Strahl

The entire province seemed shocked by the Liberal sweep that took over the polls on Tuesday night, and Laurie Throness was no exception.

“I wrote three speeches,” he said. “I wrote a concession speech and I wrote a victory government speech,” and a third one in case he won, but the Liberals fell.

“I was not expecting the Liberals to form government,” he admitted.

And when he was named the Chilliwack-Hope MLA, it was a complete surprise.

“It was amazing,” he said. “It feels gratifying.”

On Wednesday afternoon, he was still busy with volunteers taking down election signs, cleaning up the campaign office and making and taking phone calls.

He had spoken with former MLA John Les, but had yet to return a call to longtime Chilliwack-Hope MLA Barry Penner.

“He left a message on my cell phone,” he said of the former Liberal.

Throness admitted he’s not really sure what happens next.

“I’m still wondering that myself,” he said, laughing. “I expect someone will call me.”

He’ll have to set up a constituency office soon, he said, so that people know where to find him.

“I’m really looking forward to being a servant to Chilliwack-Hope,” he said. “Public service is why I was elected and I’m here to find out (the people) want me to do.”

This was the second time Throness ran in the Chilliwack-Hope riding as a Liberal candidate. Last year, he lost to NDPer Gwen O’Mahony in a byelection.

But he’s not new to politics. He ran for a position on the Vancouver School Board in 1993, and lost by 500 votes.

“The next day, Chuck Strahl phone me and invited me over to his place,” he said, and from there, Throness worked with Strahl and learned from him.

“I really think things happen for a reason,” he said. “All of this political experience I’ve gained can now all be put to good use for the public.”

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