Cullen wins: but disappointed overall

Cullen says the thought of being NDP leaders is the farthest from his mind tonight.

  • Oct. 19, 2015 5:00 p.m.

Nathan Cullen holding his son in the Smithers campaign office

RE-ELECTED Skeena – Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen says he’s looking forward to spending time with his wife and twin sons.

“I’m going to see my kids and have a normal meal again. We put almost 20,000 kilometres on the car. It was a long, long campaign. I’m just focused in on phoning my colleagues… and seeing how everyone is doing,” he said tonight.

Personally victorious with just over 50 per cent of the vote, Cullen did express disappointment at his party’s showing.

From official opposition with hopes of forming the next federal government when the votes were counted tonight, the NDP instead is in third place.

“We’re very disappointed we were not able to form the government as we hoped to do a number of weeks ago,” said Cullen.

Still, he said he has no intentions of running for the leadership of the NDP should Thomas Mulcair step down after tonight’s disappointment for the party.

“It’s the furthest thought from my mind tonight,” said Cullen who placed third the last time the NDP held a leadership race.

As for whether the election results would’ve been different if he had been leader, Cullen said he had no lack of confidence in Mulcair.

“That ship sailed three years ago… I was confident with Thomas’s leadership and … many many short weeks ago, [the talk was] about Mulcair as prime minister.”

Meanwhile, Conservative challenger Tyler Nesbitt, who ran second with 25 per cent of the vote, says he’s willing to help Cullen push the new federal Liberal government for results for northwestern B.C.

“Nathan is a voice in the opposition just like we are. We will just see what he can make of it, and if there is anything I can ever do in my capacity to help the people in this region I will certainly have my phone on for him,” said Nesbitt speaking at his Terrace campaign office tonight.

Nesbitt said his results had “absolutely nothing to do with my performance and my team and anything we did. It’s that we got caught up in that anti-Conservative, anti-Harper wave. And that’s just what it was. I make no regrets about how we campaigned.”

Liberal candidate Brad Layton, while unsuccessful personally this evening, was in an upbeat mood.

“I’m ecstatic, we needed change and I’m 100 per cent behind the platform of the Liberal party,” said Layton this evening from his Smithers campaign office.

“We’ve already been checked off as elected to NDP here, I’m hoping that Nathan Cullen will work as hard as he can to make sure that we see the benefits with the Liberal government.”

Layton finished with just under 20 per cent of the vote, a substantial improvement over the Liberal candidate who ran in 2011.

Green candidate Jeannie Parnell had 3.6 per cent of the vote and the Christian Heritage Party’s Don Spratt had 1.8 per cent of the vote.

 

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