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Doug Ford Wins Ontario Conservative Leadership After Challenge Overruled

Doug Ford Wins Ontario Conservative Leadership After Challenge Overruled

Michael Ford, Toronto city councillor and nephew of leadership candidate Doug Ford, said Saturday morning he and scrutineers from the three other campaigns entered a room with as many as 10 paper ballot counting machines.

Christine Elliott met with Doug Ford at a secret location on Sunday to congratulate him on his narrow win in the race to lead Ontario's Progressive Conservative party.

Ford, a former city councilor and older brother of late former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, was declared the victor at Saturday's convention in Markham after a seven-and-a-half hour delay.

Elliott has said she won the popular vote and the majority of ridings, and said thousands of party members were assigned to incorrect ridings during the voting process.

But in a statement released Sunday evening, Elliott said that "after completing my review, I am confident in the results".

The former premier contacted the Star because he wants Conservatives to get on with the campaign to unseat Wynne's Liberals in the June 7 election.

"Following a long, drawn out process to count then review the more than 64,000 electronic ballots cast by party members, Ford narrowly edged out former MPP Christine Elliott, party officials said".

"I will stand up for these members and plan to investigate the extent of this discrepancy", she said in a statement issued hours after Ford's victory was declared.

Continued below."As somebody who has been a member of this party since '74, has represented the legislature for 19 years, has been a cabinet minister, this moment in time is the most embarrassing moment of my life as a member of this party".

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The controversy "needs to be resolved, as it may have an impact on electoral votes", he added, drawing shouts and boos as he urged the crowd to leave since the party no longer had access to the hotel ballroom, which was booked for a wedding Sunday.

"This is, in our view, not only a fundamental change in the Rules at a late time in the campaign, but also contrary to our Party's Constitution, which provides that in this case the vote must conclude no later than March 9".

"Tonight is a sign there is a lot of work ahead of us", Ford said, alluding to the challenges of the day.

"We have to make sure we have incentives rather than tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend", he said of fostering business investment in the province during his visit to the Sault.

Vic Fedeli, the interim party leader said in his outgoing speech to party members the Tories needed to stay united.

"The pace of this Ontario PC leadership race has been rapid and there have been a number of unexpected turns along the way".

Cristine de Clercy, an associate professor of political science at Western University, said the party's handling of the delays Saturday was "a dismal failure".

"This party is very clearly very fractured. Unfortunately the thing blew apart today".

The race was prompted by former leader Patrick Brown's resignation on January 25 after two women accused him of sexual misconduct. "His representatives at [the Leadership Election Organizing Committee] have sat silently in our meetings for days, never bringing up such issues".


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