A disappointed Leon Jensen watched the returns come in Saturday night in Aldergrove. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Times)

VIDEO: Liberal Leon Jensen doesn’t plan to run again

After his loss Saturday night, it’s time for ‘fresh blood,’ candidate said

As he watched the returns for the Langley-Aldergrove riding come in, Liberal Leon Jensen managed to keep smiling through most of an evening that saw him start out behind Conservative rival Tako Van Popta, and stay there.

Towards the end, his grin slipped once or twice, but Jensen remained upbeat.

“I’ve gone through a lot harder things than this,” commented Jensen, a former military reservist.

Supporters urged him to hold off conceding the election after Van Popta was declared the winner by several news services, including the Langley Advance Times.

“I don’t think the national media are going to be pouring in here,” Jensen observed, but he waited until about a quarter of the polls had been counted.

“I think we can call it,” he could be heard telling a campaign volunteer.

“We’re not going to win it.”

He had a volunteer turn down the volume on the television that was broadcasting results.

“Thanks a lot for all the great work you did,” he told his volunteers.

“I’m sad that we didn’t get better numbers than we did.”

“You guys are part of my family, forever, now.”

In an interview after the speech, he was doubtful he will run again.

“I don’t think so,” Jensen said.

“It’s time for fresh blood.”

It was a disappointing outcome for Ilona Scott, Jensen’s campaign manager, who became a Canadian citizen just two weeks before the election date.

“It was perfect timing,” said Scott, who is from South Africa.

At her swearing-in, she recalled the official encouraged new Canadians to become involved in volunteering and politics.

It was Jensen’s second bid to represent the area.

When the retired military reservist ran under the Liberal standard against incumbent Conservative MP Mark Warawa, the rookie candidate finished second with 36.6 per cent of the vote to Warawa’s 45.6.

READ ALSO: 10 Questions: Langley-Aldergrove candidates answer

It was a 20 per cent drop for the Conservative and a 28 per cent increase for the Liberals.

It was also the closest any candidate had ever come to unseating Warawa.

This time, Jensen’s Conservative opponent is lawyer and businessman Tako van Popta, who beat five rival candidates to win the nomination.

Jensen’s Twitter account describes him as a “Veteran, Rotarian. Proud father & grandfather.”

His liberal.ca “Team Leon” web page notes that he spent 42 years as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and was deployed to Europe as part of the NATO forces in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Jensen is president of The Royal Canadian Artillery Association and “is deeply involved with preserving military history in British Columbia” the web page noted.

He is currently completing his degree in leadership at Trinity Western University.

Jensen has four children and four grandchildren.

READ ALSO: Seniors a topic of Aldergrove’s election debate

READ MORE: Liberal hopeful aims to claim candidate spot in Langley-Aldergrove

Born in Denmark and raised in the Lower Mainland, Jensen worked in the materials handling field, and served in the Canadian Reserves, serving with the 15th Field Artillery Regiment.

While he was in the military, Jensen said he stayed out of politics by choice. While reservists can be politically active, he chose not to.

Once he was retired, he said he wanted to participate, and settled on the Liberals as the party that closest matched his core beliefs.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Jensen campaign manager Ilona Scott, originally from South Africa, became a Canadian just in time to vote in the election. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Record turnout for third annual Langley car show against cancer

Brogan’s Diner Fight Against Cancer Car Show was turned into a road trip because of COVID-19

Langley artist Lalita Hamill launches new website to showcase art and share instructional videos

A Zoom session on Saturday, July 18, will serve as a free art assessment and critique at 10 a.m.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Ryan’s Regards: Will the air travel industry once again take flight?

With airlines grounded and staff laid off, going abroad could be more difficult beyond COVID-19

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Most Read