Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo presents Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper with $225,000 from the BC Air Access program on Monday, March 20. Cooper recently appeared in an video promoting Kyllo’s bid for re-election as Shuswap MLA. -Image credit: Jim Elliott/Salmon Arm Observer

Shuswap mayors support Kyllo’s re-election

Mayors Terry Rysz and Nancy Cooper appear in a promotional video for MLA Greg Kyllo.

Two Shuswap mayors have put their faces forward on behalf of Greg Kyllo’s re-election bid for the provincial riding.

Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz and Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper were both recently featured in an election video posted to Kyllo’s campaign Facebook page.

While Rysz says he is eager to endorse Kyllo in his bid for re-election, Cooper was a little more circumspect, calling her appearance in the election video a “message of thanks” rather than an endorsement for the current Shuswap MLA.

The move is considered somewhat unusual, as politicians at different levels of government often choose to remain neutral, as they will be required to work with the candidate elected by the voters. It may avoid awkwardness if the person they didn’t endorse turns out to be the winner.

But Rysz says he thinks it is important to be vocal about his opinions and when he was asked by the Kyllo campaign to make a video clip, he was happy to participate.

“It may not be politically correct, but sometimes always being politically correct bothers me a bit. This man has done a good job, he’s helped our region and he’s running for re-election, so why wouldn’t I endorse him?”

Rysz says there has been a significant investment of provincial tax dollars in the region, and he credits that to Kyllo’s involvement.

“I think he’s been there for us and we’ve seen results. That’s pretty impressive,” he said. “At the end of the day , I feel I’m allowed to have a personal opinion on that, because I am a citizen as well as the mayor and I don’t mind speaking my mind on this.”

Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper admits some people might consider her video appearance an endorsement, she views it more as a way of showing appreciation for Kyllo’s work this term.

“For me, it’s a way of saying thank you to him. That’s something I believe in. I think we should give thanks to people where it’s due.”

Cooper says Kyllo made a lot of effort in terms of the Salmon River bridge improvements and the cash infusion to the foreshore water and sewermain project, which is a provincial investment of millions in tax dollars.

“All along he’s always been with us, encouraging us. He’s been on our side.”

She also says her appearance in the video is not entirely unusual, saying years ago, some mayors came out in support of then Shuswap MLA George Abbott’s re-election bid.

Both mayors says they will be happy to work with whoever is elected in the Shuswap constituency.

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