On a day when the B.C. Liberal government was taking heat for not replacing its often critical auditor general, the new party representative for the Shuswap was nothing but positive about the party and its leader.
"Christy Clark certainly was a big motivation for myself to make the decision to run - her leadership style, her speaking ability, ability to connect with people," said Greg Kyllo on Sunday.
Kyllo beat out four other candidates on Saturday to potentially take over the riding leadership from high profile politician George Abbott in next spring's provincial election.
He said he's unsure what his main priorities will be, offering transportation and job growth before adding, "I want to have an opportunity to meet a bit more with George Abbott as well as the other constituents in the riding."
While campaigning, said Kyllo, the message that rang out from constituents was less about support for the Liberal party than fear of its contender.
"The biggest concern was just absolute fear of what an NDP government would do both to our riding and to this province," he said.
Kyllo moved to Sicamous with his family from Taylor, B.C. in 1978. He and his wife Georgina have raised four daughters, now aged 23 to 17.
Now president and owner of Twin Anchors Marine Group, the largest houseboat company in Canada, Kyllo said he will step down from his executive position should he win the spring election.
In 2011, Kyllo was elected to Sicamous council and was appointed deputy mayor and chair of the finance committee.
He's been a director on the Shuswap BC Liberal Riding Association for many years, and that's reflected in his loyalty to the party.
"The Liberals unfortunately are bearing the brunt and the blame for a lot of (the economic downturn)," said Kyllo. "The Liberal government's got some great policies in place and it's just a matter of time and continuing to stay the course with existing programs that are in place now."
© Kamloops Daily News