For James Lunney’s campaign manager, this election campaign has been a different kind of race.
Paula Peterson has been the Nanaimo-Alberni Conservative Party candidate’s campaign manager for three elections — 2004, 2008 and 2011. In her experience, Peterson said this time around was different.
“People just wanted to vote,” she explained early Monday night before the results started pouring in. “They wanted the chance to do that and not worry about anything else.
“Regular people (in this particular riding) were telling us they face a referendum on the HST, a probably provincial election in the fall and definitely municipal elections (in November). People are tired of all the voting.”
Yet, in Parksville in particular, Peterson said she saw more volunteers and support this time around than in those last two elections.
She credits that with a more personal campaign run in Nanaimo-Alberni. That meant going door-to-door and connecting with people, rather than calling on the phone, for example. Feelings of an impersonal effort were a carry over from previous elections, Peterson said, so the Conservative effort was to try to be more personal.
As for the recent surge in NDP popularity prior to election night, Peterson said in Nanaimo-Alberni, the campaign just did what it set out to do.
“It’s making contact with voters,” she said. “We’ll do what we know works and trust that people get our message.”
James Lunney is expected to be in Parksville after 7:30 p.m. tonight to watch election results come in.