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HomeBusinessBC United hires new manager to reboot campaign 

BC United hires new manager to reboot campaign 


Bob Mackin 

A shakeup inside BC United, as Kevin Falcon’s party hired a new campaign manager on July 10.

Mark Werner, who oversaw Ellis Ross’s BC Liberal leadership bid in 2022, has taken over, with 14 weeks until the Oct. 19 election.

Werner told that campaign operations director Kelly Reichert, strategic advisor Hamish Marshall and executive director Lindsay Coté will report to him.

Mark Werner (left) and Ellis Ross in 2022 (Werner)

“Caucus is very happy and the mood and the tone is changing,” Werner said.  

Werner will oversee all facets of the central campaign and also guide the local campaigns for Kamloops incumbents Todd Stone and Peter Milobar. 

The former president of the B.C. Guide Outfitters Association was a northern B.C. grassroots organizer for the BC Liberals under Christy Clark. He managed Ross’s runner-up campaign in 2022, a contest marred by accusations from Falcon’s six challengers that the former multi-portfolio cabinet minister’s team violated the party’s rules about membership sales and spending. 

Under the weighted voting system, Falcon eventually defeated Ross on the fifth ballot 52.19% to 33.65%. Michael Lee finished third with 14.14%. Just over a year later, in April 2023, Falcon rebranded the party as BC United. 

“He’s the leader, so I’m going to support him,” Werner said. 

After the spring session of the Legislature, BC United suffered defections of caucus chair Lorne Doerkson (Cariboo-Chilcotin) and mental health and addiction critic Elenore Sturko (Surrey South) to the Conservative Party of B.C. The party led by former BC United MLA John Rustad (Nechako Lakes) is riding high in public opinion polls as a likely heir to BC United as the opposition party in the next version of the Legislature. Former BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver suggested the Conservatives could even upset the David Eby-led NDP and form government.

BC United reported $672,000 in donations in the April to June quarter, compared to $1.1 million for the Conservatives and $2.2 million for the NDP. 

Does Werner think he can turn it around? 

“I can and will. Things are not as bad as people think they are.

“The polls don’t reflect what people think, once people get to know John [Rustad],” Werner said. “I don’t think people know Kevin, either.”

To that end, Werner plans to produce a short video on Falcon’s life and family, refine the party’s brand and logo and put together an operations team. 

“I do see a path to victory,” Werner said. 

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