Patti MacAhonic, former executive director of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, won the NDP nomination for election candidate in the Chilliwack riding Saturday.
“We are going to make a positive change in Chilliwack,” MacAhonic said, after the ballots were counted, and she was declared the winner over challenger Dennis Adamson.
“We are going to have an NDP government,” MacAhonic vowed. “We’re going to work together and make that happen.”
“This is NDP country,” BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix confidently told the crowd of about 200 gathered in the Rotary Hall Theatre at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.
Those were the same words Dix used a little over a year ago when Gwen O’Mahony was nominated the NDP candidate in Chilliwack-Hope and went on to win an upset byelection victory, breaking the BC Liberals’ long hold on that riding.
Dix said O’Mahony has made a significant contribution to the NDP caucus since becoming an MLA, and both she and MacAhonic will make “an extraordinary team” of candidates to carry the NDP banner in the next provincial election.
“It’s going to be a satisfying day in May,” he said, when two NDP MLAs, both women, are elected in the two Chilliwack ridings.
O’Mahony, now the NDP’s skills training critic, called on party members from both ridings to work together to elect MacAhonic because her Chilliwack-Hope constituency office is “incredibly busy” answering calls from the Chilliwack riding.
“I need the help,” she said. “”We need to get Patti MacAhonic elected.”
As candidate, MacAhonic said her Job-One will be putting together a strong campaign committee as she takes on the challenge of winning the traditionally conservative riding.
But she acknowledged her “under dog” status saying, “I’ve been the underdog many times and many times I’ve beaten the odd odds… I thrive on challenge” and she committed herself to “building a stronger future for the people of Chilliwack.”
“As an underdog, you can do remarkable things,” she said. “You can make a lasting difference.”