Kelly Velonis ran for the federal Liberals in the Chilliwack-Hope riding in 2019 but says she won't be running again. (Submitted)

Velonis announces she won’t be taking a second run at Chilliwack-Hope seat

Friends and family had been encouraging her to run again federally, but timing’s off, she says

Kelly Velonis, who was the federal Liberal MP candidate for Chilliwack-Hope in 2019, has announced she won’t be taking a second run at it.

She said she hopes that clarifying her intentions this way early on will encourage other interested candidates to get ready to step forward.

Friends and family had been encouraging her to run again, but she feels “the timing is off” and is opting to focus her energies closer to home, in her role leading the Chilliwack & District Seniors Resource Society.

Velonis also ran for elected office as a school trustee in October 2018. Her last name was Janveaux at the time.

“It’s been a long and difficult decision because I’m passionate about dialing up the voice of Chilliwack and Hope in Ottawa and that hasn’t changed,” she said.

“I still believe Ottawa can and should do more for our community and a Liberal MP is in the best position to represent our increasingly diverse needs.”

The vote count in the 2019 federal election saw Velonis earning 10,848 votes (20.2%) as the second place candidate, to MP Mark Strahl’s 26,672 votes (49.6%) to win the seat.

Velonis acknowledged how COVID-19 has “devastated” the country, the province, and the community of Chilliwack.

“People are struggling and will continue to be challenged in ways we can not imagine in the coming months,” Velonis said.

She’s not ruling out a future run or getting involved at the municipal level down the road, “when the timing is right.”

RELATED: Velonis chosen as candidate for federal Liberals

RELATED: But can’t budge the Conservative stronghold

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