Chilliwack-Kent provincial election NDP candidate Kelli Paddon watching results as they come in on election night Oct. 24, 2020. (Submitted)

Chilliwack-Kent provincial election NDP candidate Kelli Paddon watching results as they come in on election night Oct. 24, 2020. (Submitted)

Chilliwack-Kent leaning towards NDP’s Kelli Paddon late Saturday

Upstart New Democrat could unseat incumbent Laurie Throness who won in 2013 and 2017 –results are not final

One of the more uncertain provincial election ridings in B.C., long held by the BC Liberals, was led by a relative unknown in New Democrat Kelli Paddon late Saturday night.

With final results still not in, Paddon led former BC Liberal Laurie Throness by a slim margin by 11 p.m. on election night with 4,353 votes to Throness’s 4,033, a margin of 34.1 per cent over 31.59 per cent.

That with 73 of 89 ballot boxes reported, and not counting advance voting or mail-in ballots, which could amount to half of all votes cast.

Throness made headlines when he resigned from the BC Liberal caucus on the first day of advance voting after the latest in a series of controversial comments on social conservative issues, statements called “wrong an inappropriate” by party leader Andrew Wilkinson.

Chilliwack-Kent was long considered to be an uncertain riding. As ballot boxes were counted over the course of the evening, the vote count totals between Paddon and Throness went back and forth all night. At one point after 48 of 89 ballot boxes were counted, Paddon held just a seven-vote lead over Throness with 2,019 to 2,012.

• READ MORE: BC Liberals cut ties with Chilliwack-Kent candidate Throness

• READ MORE: OPINION: Every vote counts with election uncertainty in Chilliwack and Chilliwack-Kent

Paddon said she was running on her experience as an advocate. The former University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) instructor said she was focusing on “fighting for improved healthcare and an economic recovery that includes everyday people.”

“This election is about who you trust to look out for you and your family as our economy recovers from COVID-19,” Paddon says. “For years, the BC Liberals gave tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting the vital services that British Columbians rely on. As someone who works with vulnerable populations, I have seen how that hurts our community. That’s why we need to continue to move forward with John Horgan and I’m proud to be part of the team.”

Paddon lives in Lindell Beach with her partner Drew and kids, Nic and Rory.

Across B.C., a total of 478,900 mail-in ballots were returned to Election BC, as of Friday, Oct. 22.

There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.

Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6., after those mail-in ballots are counted. An estimated 5,809 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Chilliwack riding, and 7,650 in Chilliwack-Kent. There are 37,676 registered voters in Chilliwack and 43,698 in Chilliwack-Kent.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
editor@theprogress.com

@TheProgress
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian Red Cross staff engaged in a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing training exercise. (Luc Alary / Canadian Red Cross)
Red Cross canvassers following PHO guidelines while going door-to-door

Canvassers using safety protocols including masks and distancing to continue organization’s efforts

Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl, pictured here in 2017, has harsh words about the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl says Liberal government is leaving millions of Canadians behind

Strahl delivered a blistering critique of the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement

Seabird Island Chief Jim Harris thanked the community for embracing the checkpoints and the workers who operate them. Community members have delivered snacks, hot drinks and extra lights to those keeping watch at the entrances of the community. (Screenshot/Seabird Island Band)
Seabird Island chief thanks community for embracing entrance checkpoints

Community members taking care of workers with extra lights, warm drinks, Chief Harris says

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

Elgin Wynd resident Ian Tyzzer says encroaching development is threatening the home and breeding ground of an endangered pigeon species. (Alex Browne photo)
Endangered pigeon habitat threatened by Surrey development, residents fear

Elgin Wynd strata owners fear it’s too late to save trees where band-tailed pigeons roost

Most Read