Russ Kinghorn joins Conservative Party nomination race

Russ Kinghorn from Cranbrook entered the race for the Conservative nomination this week. - Submitted
Russ Kinghorn from Cranbrook entered the race for the Conservative nomination this week.
— image credit: Submitted

With less than two weeks to go until the new candidate is nominated to represent the Conservative Party in the riding of Kootenay-Columbia in the next federal election, one potential candidate has dropped out of the race and one announced his intent to run.

Radium Hot Springs resident Dale Shudra has decided not to file official nomination application papers (read more about his journey here in the Local News section). Newly joining the contest is Russ Kinghorn from Cranbrook.

Kinghorn is a professional engineer and businessman in his community. He has lived in Cranbrook since 1983, here is where he met his wife, got married and raised three stepsons. Community involvement has been a big part of Kinghorn’s life. He is an integral part of the Roses for Rotary campaign with the Cranbrook Rotary Club, worked as part of the committee on the Cranbrook Arches Project and has overseen the Popsicle Stick Bridge Building contest for Kootenay students as part of his involvement with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientist of BC.

Kinghorn also volunteered his time to design and build assistive devices for a young man with cerebral palsy as part of his involvement with the Tetra Society. Many have also seen Kinghorn wielding his sword to cut the haggis at Cranbrook’s annual Robbie Burns celebration.

“I’m not what you call a career politician,” Kinghorn admits, “but I certainly follow politics.” As a board member of the Conservative Riding Association, he has seen the political process mainly from the periphery.

When he was first approached in February to think about running for the nomination, Kinghorn first declined. He changed his mind when realizing he could use his unique perspective to make a positive difference for the region. Technical professionals, Kinghorn explains, usually do not seek political office. He believes more people with this perspective are needed.

Kinghorn says he knows the area and its issues well, especially in the forestry and mining sectors.

Should he be elected as the MP replacing Jim Abbott, Kinghorn has set it as one of his goals to protect the resource and tourism industries in the region and the jobs they create to sustain the Kootenay-Columbia environment and way of life. Kinghorn also pledges to work towards reducing “bureaucracy gone mad” by eliminating duplication of federal and provincial processes and by cutting programs like the long gun registry.

Through his work, Kinghorn has had a chance to travel through the riding, from the Elk Valley to Revelstoke, Creston and Golden. In the days left until the nomination process starts, he is planning to be busy. “I’ve got a couple of road trips planned to visit some of the communities,” he explains.

Kinghorn is aware that coming in at the tail end of the process puts him at a disadvantage, but he believes with some of the endorsements he has received he can still get out and show people what his campaign is all about. Kinghorn says one of the people giving him support is federal minister of state for sports and former Cranbrook resident Gary Lunn.

Voting for Conservative Party members starts in Revelstoke on March 14 and wraps up in Cranbrook on March 19. Kinghorn is prepared to put in a lot of work until then and in order to put his best bid forward sacrifice on things such as sleep. “There’s been none in the last week and there will be less in the next,” he jokes. To find out more about Russ Kinghorn and his candidacy, you can email him at

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