Conservative Party’s Koury stepping aside

Conservative nominee John Koury has withdrawn from the race to become the party's Cowichan candidate for this October's federal election.

Conservative nominee John Koury has withdrawn from the race to become the party’s Cowichan-Malahat-Langford candidate for this October’s federal election.

Koury announced Monday he was stepping aside.

“It is with mixed feelings that I make this decision today to withdraw from the nomination process,” Koury said. “Many people in the community have expressed their hope that I will run in the nomination and I am sorry to have to let them know that I will not contest the nomination.”

Koury cited two reasons that led to his decision not to move forward in that process.

“It is clear to me that my family needs me at this critical juncture to advocate for our son with special needs who is transitioning into adulthood,” he said. “Also, I have had several opportunities in the private and public service that, in order to pursue, I must do so unencumbered by partisan political work.”

The vote to decide the Conservative candidate occurs Aug. 29.

Now that he’s moved away from the spotlight, Koury is endorsing Martin Barker.

“I believe strongly that Martin Barker has the best chance of the remaining nominees to win this seat,” Koury said. “He has demonstrated his ability to garner the right support in Langford to compliment his knowledge of Cowichan and he has the ability to articulate the virtues of Stephen Harper’s conservative economic agenda and that is what makes him the best choice.”

Barker said his emotions were mixed to see Koury drop out.

“I have known John for many years and have known him to be a tireless advocate for the community and the Conservative party,” Barker said. “I know John has many family obligations and many new exciting opportunities ahead. I wish him the best.”