New president of AbbotsfordFirst named

Community organizer with past ties to BC Liberal Party takes over for Markus Delves

Local community organizer Marion Keys is the new president of local political organization AbbotsfordFirst.

Keys was chosen to replace outgoing president Markus Delves at the group’s recent annual general meeting. Delves, who had been president since the fall of 2017, resigned from the group to pursue the BC Liberal nomination in Abbotsford South.

Keys sits on the board of the Maplewood Care Society and is an organizer for the Holmberg Memorial Golf Classic on behalf of the Abbotsford Hospice Society.

“AbbotsfordFirst provides the opportunity for local residents to be involved in the process of government in a positive way and provides support for council candidates from diverse backgrounds to work together to better our community,” said Keys in a press release. “My family has been in Abbotsford for a long time and I have seen our community grow. I want this growth to continue along positive and inclusive lines and I will continue to work hard with AbbotsfordFirst to make that happen.”

Keys has a long background in the political realm, having previously worked on campaigns alongside with Dave Holmberg. Keys was long affiliated with the BC Liberals but says she no longer does work for the party.

AbbotsfordFirst has had four council members serving under its banner since 2015.

The group says they nominate candidates that reflect their good-government objectives, but don’t set policy or tell candidates how to vote. AbbotsfordFirst’s elected councillors – Couns. Kelly Chahal, Ross Siemens, Sandy Blue and Brenda Falk – have been consistently supportive of the direction of the city under Mayor Henry Braun, who is not a member.

Council votes are almost always unanimous, but in the the last term AbbotsfordFirst’s four councillors were among the least likely to stray from the general consensus, an analysis by The News showed last year. But AbbotsfordFirst councillors have occasionally voted contrary to one another, including earlier this month when they were split on the wording that should be included in a resolution asking for the widening of Highway 1.

RELATED: United they vote: Abbotsford council votes are consistently unanimous

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