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Two candidates urge voters to rank the other as second choice for Ont Liberal leader

TORONTO — Two contenders for the Ontario Liberal leadership are banding together to urge their supporters to put the other as a second choice.

Party members are set to cast their votes through ranked ballots on the weekend of Nov. 25 and 26 for a leader to replace Steven Del Duca, with a winner to be revealed on Dec. 2.

Liberal MP and former provincial cabinet minister Yasir Naqvi and Liberal MP Nate Erskine-Smith are announcing today that they have an agreement to ask supporters to select each other as their number two choice, and also to co-ordinate election weekend get-out-the-vote efforts.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie is currently seen as the race’s front runner, and former Liberal MP and current provincial caucus member Ted Hsu is also running.

Naqvi and Erskine-Smith say they don’t want their party to be vulnerable to the same criticisms around political baggage, priorities and donors as Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives – a not-so-subtle dig at Crombie, who both candidates have frequently criticized.

The two candidates say they have found a great deal of common ground, with both wanting to revitalize the grassroots of the party, restore ethics in government and invest in public education, health care and affordability while also tackling the climate crisis.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9, 2023.

The Canadian Press