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Sea to Sky federal Conservative candidate says she won't run again

Gabrielle Loren was second to Liberal Patrick Weiler in the national race for Whistler's riding
Gabrielle Loren on election night. FILE PHOTO/NORTH SHORE NEWS

The runner-up in the 2019 federal election has declared she won't be trying to take a second shot at winning the Sea to Sky riding next time a national vote comes up.

Conservative candidate Gabrielle Loren, who was second to Liberal Patrick Weiler in the October election, announced she'll be stepping down.

That race was Loren's first foray into federal politics.

"I met some amazing people," said Loren. "It was a lot of fun. I had a great time just meeting people and chit-chatting and figuring out what the issues were and where the concerns were."

One reason that she's not seeking the local seat anymore has to do with her location.

She said she moved away from the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky riding and has been living in North Vancouver since February 2019.

"It's not my riding anymore. And so one of the things that I found is that when you get into a new community, you start building roots and making connections, and I think that if I'm going to do anything, it'll be in my own riding and just focus my attention there now," said Loren.

She also said that stepping aside at this point will also allow a future Conservative candidate a better chance to be prepared for the next election.

"I want to give lots of time to the next candidate to really prepare themselves for the size and diversity of the riding. I think that's the only fair thing to do, you know, and so many times, you aren't given enough time," said Loren.

This is especially the case in this riding, which covers West Vancouver, the Sea to Sky and the Sunshine Coast. The area is so diverse, it requires a lot of time to invest in understanding the unique issues affecting its different communities, she said.

"This isn't like Vancouver Centre where it's a tiny little corridor, right? This is a huge riding, and so that's it — the more preparation that can be made, the better it is," she said.

At the moment, though, she said she hasn't made any decisions about whether she'll return to politics in some form, and she hasn't completely ruled anything out.

"Never say never," she said. "I'm not going to say, 'No,' and not going to say, 'Yes.'"

Loren remained tight-lipped when asked about the Conservative leadership race, saying that she was still absorbing information about each candidate.

She's still keeping her federal Conservative Party membership. She's also a member of the BC Liberals.

During the election, Loren was able to pony up more than 17,000 votes, while Weiler was able to snag over 22,000.

In third place was the Green Party's Dana Taylor at more than 14,000.

During the all-candidates debate, Loren stressed her background as an accountant, saying that it made her a fiscally responsible choice for voters.

As a small business owner, she championed herself as an advocate for small enterprises who understood their unique challenges.

Among other things, she took shots at Liberals' policies, saying their legislation on things like income splitting were red tape holding back businesses.

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