‘Get behind doug’
After ‘serious irregularities’ in the Pc leadership vote, christine Elliott concedes to doug Ford
His party calls him the “definitive” winner of the Ontario PC leadership race — and now his closest competitor agrees.
While Christine Elliott had refused to concede defeat Saturday night after the voting results came in — later saying “serious irregularities” marred the process — and hunkered down with lawyers Sunday, by dinnertime she had met with Ford.
“The pace of this Ontario PC leadership race has been rapid and there have been a number of unexpected turns along the way. That is why our team took the last 24 hours to review the results of an election that was incredibly close,” Elliott said in a statement released just before 8 p.m. on Sunday.
“After completing my review, I am confident in the results. I extend my congratulations to Doug Ford on a hardfought campaign.”
The tussle over the election results arose after Elliott won both the popular vote as well as
64 ridings, compared to Ford’s
60 on the third ballot — yet still lost the race.
“Our scrutineers identified entire towns voting in the wrong riding. In a race this close, largely determined by geography, someone needs to stand up for these members,” Elliott said.
But the Ontario PC Party’s leadership committee called the results “definitive” and said they “provide a clear mandate to Doug Ford.”
Former Tory MPP Janet Ecker — who served as education minister in Mike Harris’ government — said earlier in the day that “if there are legitimate grounds for a challenge, you can understand why Christine would be doing it.
However, she said with so little time before the general election, “we have to get on with the job” of running the campaign.
“The party has spoken,” she said. “And it’s time for everybody to get behind Doug.”
newly minted ontario Pc Leader doug Ford in the St. Patrick’s day Parade, waves to folks sitting on the sidewalk on Bloor Street West on Sunday.
Christine Elliott said Sunday that she is now “confident in the results” of the leadership vote.torstar