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Conservative Party votes in new York-Simcoe representative

It is expected byelections will be called soon to officially fill the seat for MP, which represents Bradford West Gwillimbury. Former MP Peter Van Loan retired from politics in September

Three candidates squared off to win the Conservative Party of Canada nomination for the federal riding of York-Simcoe, with Scot Davidson taking the title.

The lifelong resident of Sutton is a businessman and entrepreneur, and he was running against Bradford West Gwillimbury farmer Jason Verkaik and entrepreneur Heather Fullerton.

“Thanks to everyone for all their time today,” said Davidson, after winning the nomination in a vote at the Mount Albert Community Centre Oct. 20.

“I had two really great candidates here, Jason and Heather. At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team. We’ve got to go out and win against the Liberals.”

Although the federal election is slated for October 2019, the expectation is byelections will be called shortly to fill the York-Simcoe seat and four other vacancies.

“I’m really looking forward to the byelection being called right away,” said Davidson.

A teary-eyed Fullerton congratulated Davidson on winning the nomination.

“I’m thrilled that so many people came out and showed support for the Conservative Party,” she said. “It was a clean race.”

The vote was done with a ranked ballot. Voting members heard the candidates speak at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, and then they could vote between noon and 3 p.m.

At that point, the doors were locked, the polls closed, and the votes tabulated. It took 50 minutes before Davidson was declared the winner on the first ballot.

Before the vote, Verkaik said he expected the results to be close between the candidates.

“We have three qualified candidates. What I see here today is the enthusiasm for the York-Simcoe Conservative Party,” he said.

“It was a hard-fought race,” said Election Official Kailey Vokes, noting the key now is “to keep our Conservative army mobilized in York-Simcoe.”

In a previous interview with BradfordToday, Davidson said he wants to be “a person that people can reach out to. My whole campaign is about small business.”

Davidson said he also supports construction of the Highway 400-404 Connecting Link.

Among those attending the nomination meeting were retired York-Simcoe MP Peter Van Loan, former Conservative MPP for York-Simcoe Julia Munro, and York-Simcoe MPP and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney.

The seat for York-Simcoe’s MP had been declared vacant after Van Loan announced earlier this year he would be retiring after nearly 15 years in office to return to practicing law, with the Aird and Berlis law firm in Toronto.

After that announcement, Davidson, Verkaik, and Fullerton were busy signing up new Conservative Party members and supporters for the Oct. 20 nomination meeting.

That enthusiasm translated into 513 party members qualified to cast a ballot for their candidate of choice.

Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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