With the provincial election a month away political observers looking at the five ridings wonder if any upsets are in the offing. There will be one new face for sure as Hamilton City Councillors Donna Skelly for the PCs and Liberal Judi Partridge face off in the new riding of Flamborough Glanbrook. At press time the NDP had not named a candidate. Others running in the new riding Are Janet Errygers (Green) Rudy Miller (None of the Above Party) Glenn Langton (Libertarian) and anti-amalgamation activist Roman Sarachman representing the Trillium Party.
Hamilton Centre has been NDP leader Andrea Horwath’s stronghold since 2004 where her slimmest margin of victory in the last three elections was 7,000 votes. While no one is suggesting an upset this time out, the race is predicted to be interesting with the emergence of LGBQT activist and Spectator columnist Deirdre Pike as the Liberal Candidate and Dr Dionne Duncan who recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Health Policy Management and Informatics and is general manager of the Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association is running for the PCs. At the very minimum Horwath can look forward to two articulate opponents in debates. In addition, as a long-time NDP supporter, Pike’s candidacy will undoubtedly siphon off some NDP support from Horwath. Other Candidates include Jason Lopez (Green), Tony Lemma (None of the Above), and Robert Young, Libertarian.
Hamilton East Stoney Creek has been represented by NDP’er Paul Miller since 2007. In his last two elections Miller won by wide margins. This time out he is expected to face Jennifer Stebbing who ran in Niagara West in the last Federal election and who is understood to have agreed to run for the Liberals, and Akash Grewal a 24-year old financial advisor with RBC is the PC candidate. Rounding out the roster of candidates are Linda Chenoweth (None of the Above), Allan DeRoo (Libertarian) and Lucina Monroy (New Peoples’ Choice Party). Observers will be watching the race to see what impact the Human Rights Complaint lodged by Miller’s constituency worker Todd White will have.
On Hamilton Mountain NDP MPP Monique Taylor will go after her third term after capturing the riding from Sophia Aggelonitis in 2011. Like Miller, Taylor has been dogged by Human Rights complaints and grievances over her treatment of three constituency workers. The Liberals are expected to name Damian Starr as their candidate. Hamilton businesswoman and philanthropist Esther Pauls will represent the PC;s. David Urquhart is the green candidate. Scott Miller (None of the Above), and Kristofer Maves (Libertarian) round out the slate of candidates.
In Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas and its predecessor riding Liberal Ted McMeekin has been the MPP for 18 years. The riding has been regarded more as a McMeekin stronghold than a Liberal stronghold, as Conservative candidates have traditionally made respectable showings in losing campaigns. McMeekin faces Ben Levitt, a youthful constituency worker in the office of Conservative MP David Sweet. Levitt’s nomination was re-confirmed after a controversial first nomination that was plagued with accusations of ballot-box stuffing and other irregularities, although no accusations were levelled at Levitt personally. McMeekin also faces a potentially strong challenge from NDP candidate Sandy Shaw, a member of the Hamilton Port Authority Board who worked as director of corporate social responsibility at FirstOntario Credit Union and is a former Woman of Distinction winner. Peter Ormand is the Green Party candidate. Chris Labenski (None of the Above) and Nichola Dushko (Libertarian) are also nominated. Recent polling suggests the Liberals are in third place in all five Hamilton-area ridings, but as election experts will say, campaigns do matter.