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Richmond caught up in orange wave

By Don Fennell and Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 12:54 PDT, Sun October 25, 2020

Last Updated: 3:01 PDT, Sun October 25, 2020

Richmond got caught up in the orange wave that rolled over the province Saturday night.

On an election night full of many historic moments, and on which British Columbians handed Premier John Horgan a majority government, local voters seemed destined to send as many as three BC NDP candidates to the provincial legislature.

With all 87 polling stations reporting, BC NDP candidate Aman Singh earned about 46 per cent of the votes in the Richmond-Queensborough riding. Incumbent BC Liberal candidate Jas Johal received just over 39 per cent. As a result, several media outlets declared Singh the winner. BC Green Party candidate Earl Einarson received about eight per cent of votes, and BC Conservative candidate Kay Hale about six per cent.

In Richmond-Steveston, after all 84 polling stations had reported, BC NDP candidate Kelly Greene led with about 51 per cent of the votes. Greene pulled slightly ahead of BC Liberal candidate Matt Pitcairn who finished the night with about 46 per cent of votes. Independent candidate Vince Li received about three per cent of votes.

With all 76 polling stations reporting, BC NDP candidate Henry Yao led by about two per cent in Richmond South Centre over Alexa Loo of the BC Liberals.

Longtime BC Liberal MLA and incumbent Teresa Wat was also declared the winner by several media outlets after she established a nearly thousand vote lead over BC NDP candidate Jaeden Dela Torre in Richmond North Centre. Wat received about 51 per cent of votes, Dela Torre about 40 per cent, and BC Green Party candidate Vernon Wang about nine per cent after all 71 polling stations had reported.

This would be the first time Richmond has elected an NDP candidate to a governing BC party since 1972, when longtime city councillor Harold Steves represented the party. 

This also marks the first time an NDP premier has been re-elected in BC. John Horgan said he would get back to work on Monday after what he called a “spirited” campaign.

“I want to make sure that government works for you each and every day,” he said. “That is my passion, that is my calling, that’s why I get up every morning.”

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson thanked everyone for voting during “a campaign like no other, in the midst of a global pandemic.”

BC Green Party leader Sonia Fursteneau said she would hold the NDP accountable for the promises they have made, and that partisanship is “less important than advancing policy that makes a difference in the lives of British Columbians.”

The results of advance voting and mail-in ballots still need to be tallied. The latter will take until at least early November to be determined, as officials must wait 13 days minimum to open ballots sent in by mail. Across Richmond, about 20,000 people voted in advance, with a further 28,000 requesting vote-by-mail packages.

And with two city councillors in the race as provincial candidates, and both of their ridings considered too close to call, Richmond may see a civic by-election in the near future as well. 

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