Jason Lum photographed as FVRD chair at the Fraser Valley Regional District office on Jan. 15, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Jason Lum photographed as FVRD chair at the Fraser Valley Regional District office on Jan. 15, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Jason Lum describes independent campaign mounted by team as ‘monumental’

Early on Lum trailed closely behind the two frontrunners in Chilliwack-Kent

Jason Lum fought hard in his attempt to be the first ever to win an MLA seat for Chilliwack-Kent as an independent candidate, in one of the most closely watched election races in the province.

Early on Lum trailed closely behind the two frontrunners, Laurie Throness, and BC NDP’s Kelli Paddon, but ultimately never managed to best them.

But that gap widened as the counting wore on.

READ MORE: Unexpected orange wave hit Chilliwack

Lum captured almost 25 per cent of the popular vote, before mail-in ballots are counted, which is unprecedented as an independent candidate in the Chilliwack area.

On election night Lum posted this message at the end of the evening: “As for Chilliwack-Kent, I guess we’ll have some waiting to do before any official congratulations are in order.

“I do want to say how proud I am of all the amazing #teamlum supporters, and volunteers that helped out this past three weeks. This was a monumental task and you were all incredible. I am so grateful.

Everyone sleep well knowing we live in a country where we have strong democratic institutions, and free, fair, open elections. I know I will.”

As nearly all polls had reported by early Sunday afternoon, there was a gap of 195 votes between the two candidates, Throness and Paddon, with Paddon edging ahead.

The preliminary results for Chilliwack-Kent:

Paddon: 5,199 (33.31 per cent)

Throness (Incumbent): 5,004 (32.06 per cent)

Lum: 3,842 (24.6 per cent)

Hammersmark: 1,326 (8.49 per cent)

Gagné: 239

Total count: 15,610 (89 of 90 polls reporting)

Lum, Chilliwack city councillor and chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District, announced his candidacy for provincial MLA on Friday, Oct. 2 on his website and social media.

READ MORE: Running for council not taken lightly

Lum has always been politically aware. He once described his grandmother as quite “politically astute” and that had an impact.

“Grandma always instilled the importance of civic awareness and responsibility in her children and grandchildren,” he told The Progress in 2012.

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.

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.

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