Update 9:54 p.m.
Conservative candidate Todd Doherty is on his way to being re-elected Cariboo-Prince George MP for a third term.
Preliminary results show he has 50.1 per cent of the votes with 77 per cent of poll results in.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Doherty told Black Press Media Monday evening.
“But I’m incredibly humbled and honoured. As you know, I worry about everything and we had some great candidates.”
During the campaign Doherty travelled 7,800 kilometres in 36 days to visit the riding.
“In non-COVID that would be normal, but that was a lot of miles in a short period of time,” he said.
When asked if he felt confident that he was going to win again after meeting with constituents he said there were a lot of people angry that an election had been called.
“You just never know,” he said. “That’s the amazing thing about our democracy. It is up to Canadians and I just feel incredibly honoured that the residents of Cariboo-Prince George have once again sent us back to Ottawa.”
Tonight and tomorrow Doherty plans to spend time with family and then looking forward said there is lots to figure out.
“We have to see what the makeup of our caucus is and obviously the makeup of the House is and then we will go from there.
We will get back to Ottawa as soon as we can to get working on the priorities that we have in terms of our region and our nation.”
Garth Frizzell isn’t giving up. Despite coming in third in the riding, the Liberal candidate and Prince George city councillor in third place was already preparing for a potential return to federal politics
“It was a good fight, it didn’t go the way I wanted to this time,” he said. “But we may be back again soon.”
The national results mean another Liberal minority, which Frizzell said usually only last 18-24 months.
“We could see each other again in very short order,” he said.
Frizzell praised the work of all candidates in the campaign, especially the Green Party’s Leigh Hunsinger-Chang for bringing together the NDP, CPC, and LPC candidates together to write a letter supporting COVID-19 vaccination.
“In our riding, at least, it was really positive, it was a good well-fought campaign. I didn’t see any dirty tricks, didn’t see any negative pieces. It was a good exemplar of what a election should be,” he said.
Frizzell pointed to national projections that predicted the Cariboo-Prince George riding had a 99 per cent chance to be won by Doherty.
“When you go in expecting a steep mountain, and you get halfway up, you don’t say ‘wow, I didn’t make it up the mountain,’ you say, ‘wow, I’m looking forward what the peak is going to look like,’” he said.
Frizzell said he enjoyed the experience of running for federal office for the first time.
“I only got so much done. I had a fantastic team around me. it was a really good learning experience.”
Frizzell said a similar national seat result compared to the 2019 election meant the public was behind what the ruling Liberals were able to get done during the pandemic.
He had cited the Liberals record with municipalities as the main reason he became a candidate during the election.
“We didn’t make the breakthrough we had hoped for here yet, but that will come,” Frizzell said. “This year more than ever, the national issues were ones that really hit home here… We came out of this with a real strength and resolve to dig in and get prepared for the next election.”
Frizzell didn’t make it out of the night without a keepsake. When the first poll reported results, he held a lead with 5 out of 11 votes.
“We should have done the Trump thing, and called it after the first poll,” he quipped.
We reached out to NDP candidate Audrey McKinnon for comment.
Conservative candidate Todd Doherty is holding a comfortable lead in the Cariboo-Prince George riding Monday night, Sept. 20, with 30 per cent of the vote in so far.
Doherty has 7,318 votes, followed by NDP’s Audrey McKinnon with 3,004, Liberal Garth Frizzell has 2,383, People’s Party Jeremy Gustafson holds 1,324, Green Party candidate Leigh Hunsinger-Chang has 565 and Christian Heritage Party has 74 votes.
More to come
There were 85,187 registered voters in the riding, which does not include voters registered on voting day.