Pa­trick Brown fac­ing new PC nom­i­na­tion trou­ble in city

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - KEVIN WERNER

Nick Lauw­ers is con­tem­plat­ing his po­lit­i­cal fu­ture.

Lauw­ers and Dan Sadler, both seek­ing the Flam­bor­ough-Glan­brook pro­vin­cial Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive rid­ing nom­i­na­tion, say they were re­cently told by party of­fi­cials that leader Pa­trick Brown would not sign their nom­i­na­tion pa­pers if ei­ther wins the con­test.

Lo­cal Tory of­fi­cials have said the rea­son for the de­lay in hold­ing a nom­i­na­tion meet­ing is that Brown and other party rep­re­sen­ta­tives are still try­ing to per­suade Ward 7 Coun. Donna Skelly to run for the Tories in Flam­bor­ough-Glan­brook.

Lauw­ers said in an email that the party will not hold a nom­i­na­tion meet­ing “but rather an ap­point­ment.”

He said af­ter a year of “hard work” sell­ing “thou­sands” of mem­ber­ships, “to say this is dis­ap­point­ing and dev­as­tat­ing is an un­der­state­ment.”

Skelly did not re­ply to a re­quest for com­ment. She pre­vi­ously told the Hamil­ton Moun­tain News that she was not seek­ing the pro­vin­cial PC nom­i­na­tion in Flam­bor­ough-Glan­brook. The for­mer TV re­porter ran un­suc­cess­fully for the PCs in 2011 and 2014 against Lib­eral MPP Ted McMeekin in An­caster-Dun­das-Flam­bor­ough West­dale.

Lauw­ers, a Flam­bor­ough res­i­dent, said he is now “think­ing about what to do next and where to go from here.”

In May, an­other can­di­date, Al­bert Mar­shall, dropped out of the race for the Flam­bor­ough-Glan­brook nom­i­na­tion af­ter he said he was told the party was look­ing at ap­point­ing a can­di­date. At the time of Mar­shall, Lauw­ers and Sadler said they would con­tinue to seek the nom­i­na­tion.

Rick Dyk­stra, pres­i­dent of the On­tario Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Party, stated at the time the party would have a nom­i­na­tion date for the rid­ings of Flam­bor­ough-Glan­brook, Hamil­ton Moun­tain, Hamil­ton Cen­tre and Hamil­ton EastS­toney Creek in the fall.

Nei­ther Dyk­stra nor any other party of­fi­cials re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment for this story.

Brown and Skelly in early July par­tic­i­pated in a round­table dis­cus­sion about jobs with a va­ri­ety of lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als in Hamil­ton. Me­dia was not in­vited, but Brown tweeted about the event, thank­ing Skelly for par­tic­i­pat­ing.

The Lib­er­als will be ac­claim­ing Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge as its can­di­date for Flam­bor­ough-Glan­brook at the Dun­das Town Hall on Aug. 14.

This is the lat­est in a num­ber of nom­i­na­tion con­tro­ver­sies the Tories have had to face as they seek to un­seat the Lib­er­als in next June’s elec­tion.

Hamil­ton West-An­caster-Dun­das can­di­date Vikram Singh is tak­ing the party to court seek­ing to have the May 7 nom­i­na­tion re­sults over­turned. His next court date is Aug. 8. Can­di­date Jeff Peller has also ap­pealed the re­sults and sub­se­quently filed for a ju­di­cial re­view. Af­ter a rowdy nom­i­na­tion meet­ing in An­caster, Ben Le­vitt was de­clared the win­ner on the third bal­lot.

The party has also had nom­i­na­tion trou­bles in Ot­tawa West-Ne­pean and ac­tivists in the rid­ing of New­mar­ket-Aurora have com­plained about ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

Brown re­tained the ser­vices of pri­vate-sec­tor au­di­tors PWC to en­sure the in­tegrity of the party’s fu­ture nom­i­na­tion meet­ings.

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