The chair of the Abbotsford board of education has been nominated as the Conservative candidate for Abbotsford West in the next provincial election.
Korky Neufeld will vie for the position currently held by BC United’s Mike de Jong, who celebrated 30 years in January as the riding’s MLA after first being elected to the Legislature in a 1994 byelection.
De Jong has not yet publicly announced whether he will seek re-election on Oct. 19.
Neufeld is currently serving his fifth term as a trustee with the Abbotsford school district.
He previously served with the school district for nine years, starting in 2005, but declined to run in the 2014 municipal election, opting to seek the Conservative Party nomination for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon in the 2015 federal election. The nomination instead went to Liv Grewal.
Neufeld returned to the race for school board in the 2018 municipal election, running on an anti-SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) platform and rising to the top of the ranks ahead of second-place Stan Petersen by fewer than 100 votes.
Neufeld ran for a seat on city council in a 2021 byelection that was triggered when Bruce Banman stepped down after being elected Liberal MLA for Abbotsford South in the October 2020 provincial election.
Banman has since switched sides to the Conservatives and has been an avid supporter of the anti-SOGI movement.
Neufeld placed second in the municipal byelection, losing to Dave Sidhu.
He then ran again for a trustee position in the October 2022 municipal election, receiving the second highest number of votes behind incumbent Preet Rai.
Neufeld has previously served two terms as a director with the BC Trustees Association and various roles on local provincial committees and advisory bodies.
He has also volunteered with organizations such as the Abbotsford Christian Leaders Network, the Salvation Army, Cyrus Centre, and the Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association.
Neufeld’s profile on the Conservative Party website states that among his priorities are to “remove ideology from the classroom” and “support parent choices.”
“Schools must be places of learning – not tools for activism or indoctrination,” his profile states.
His other priorities include health-care reform, lower taxes, and the removal of “useless and redundant’ regulations for small and medium-sized businesses.
Other local candidates announced so far for the provincial election are: Marcus Delves with BC United and current Conservative MLA Bruce Banman in Abbotsford South; Karen Long with BC United in Langley-Abbotsford (a new electoral district); and Reann Gasper (Conservatives) and current NDP MLA Pam Alexis in Abbotsford-Mission.