STEVE KIM, BC LIBERAL, COQUITLAM-MAILLARDVILLE
BC Liberal candidate Steve Kim went to bed on election night in 2013 with a 105-vote lead in his race to become the next MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville.
But four weeks and one judicial recount later, the 43-year-old Centennial secondary graduate was down by 41 ballots and watched as the riding fell into the NDP column.
Today, he is once again back on the doorsteps campaigning for the seat he came close to winning and said he is doing everything he can to avoid a repeat of 2013.
“I had to regroup and think about it,” he said of the days following the last election. “It was disappointing but, at the same time, like all lessons learned, it motivated me. It created a spark to say that this is not over.”
Kim, who grew up in the riding, uses the story of his brush with electoral success as a reminder to his supporters to make sure they get out to the polls on election day.
“I am the poster child for why it is important for everybody to vote,” he told The Tri-City News.
Kim has also taken a different approach to campaigning this time.
In the last election, he was nominated as the BC Liberal candidate less than eight weeks before voting day. This time, he won the nomination last summer, giving him months to get out on doorsteps and meet residents.
“To have those conversations and shake everybody’s hands and hear their concerns, that is very important to me,” Kim said.
The 2013 results motivated him to get more involved in the community, he added
While he was a founder of the C3 Korean Canadian Society, which started in 2003, in the last few years, he has become a board member with Place des Arts and a member of the city of Coquitlam’s economic development advisory committee. He has strong ties to the business community, particularly the tech sector, dating back to his days as a grad student in Seoul, South Korea, where he lived and worked for a local startup for a few years in the mid-1990s.
Kim eventually made his way back to the Lower Mainland, where he began working as the director of marketing and business development with Chalk Media before launching his own marketing company, Boilingpoint Group, in 2006.
As a small business owner, Kim said he understands entrepreneurs and added that the BC Liberals’ emphasis on jobs and improving the economy is resonating with voters.
“At the end of the day, I firmly believe that with a strong economy, we have the means to pay for and re-invest in our people and our communities,” he said.
As an example, he cites the recent BC Liberal decision to commit a portion of the government’s $2-billion surplus to invest in affordable housing. He added that having a Triple-A credit rating saves the province billions in debt service payments, something Kim said could be put in jeopardy by an NDP government.
“[The NDP] want to do things but they aren’t really detailing how that is going to happen,” he said. “It always comes down to are they going to raise more taxes or incur more debt.”