Fort St. John teacher and carpenter Bob Zimmer will be the Conservative Party's next candidate for the Prince George-Peace River riding.
After six counts of the ballots and five candidates dropped from the running, Zimmer received a total of 689 votes and second-place Dan Davies received 459 votes.
"Even after eight months, I am sort of at a loss for words right now," Zimmer said. "I'm amazed at how close it was."
Other candidates in the race were Colin Kinsley, Cameron Stolz, Don Irwin, Jerrilyn Schembri and Les Shurtliff. Candidates were dropped from the ballot one by one, and their votes redistributed, until Zimmer crossed the 50 per cent plus one threshold needed to win the nomination.
Zimmer said his first plan of action is to get a good night's sleep, then start planning for the federal election on the weekend.
"I do want to continue where [former MP Jay Hill] left off," he said. "He truly is one of my mentors."
Zimmer campaigned on building the economy, reducing government waste, justice and democratic reform, and supporting a strong Armed Forces.
He also called for changes to Canada's, "open-house immigration and refugee system," after alleged gangster Francois Meerholz, facing deportation to South Africa, was released in Prince George on $5,000 bail.
"Further we need to focus on victims rights, not coddle criminals and gangsters," Zimmer said in a written statement.
Zimmer said he would work to streamline the immigration process for productive immigrants, while getting tough on immigrants involved in criminal activity.
Zimmer, 41, has been a teacher and coach at North Peace Secondary School since 2004. He is a journeyman carpenter and worked in the oil industry and construction prior to becoming a teacher. He continues to work part-time in the construction industry.
From 1999 to 2003 he was the varsity rugby head coach for Langley's Trinity Western University. He received an undergraduate degree from the Christian university in human kinetics and history, and a bachelor's of education from UBC.
He is the past president of the Prince George-Peace River Conservative Party riding association and currently serves as the riding secretary.
Zimmer and his wife, Val, have three sons and a daughter.
For more coverage, see Monday's edition of the Citizen.