Conservative leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis is gearing up for the next election, whenever that comes. The Toronto lawyer has been touring the rural riding of Haldimand Norfolk, with current Conservative MP Diane Finley who announced this summer that she is not running for re-election.
The riding has been the domain of Finley since 2004, and prior that was largely a Conservative stronghold, interrupted by Bob Speller’s two terms as a Liberal MP. Provincially the riding has been a safe conservative seat for a quarter century.
Lewis launched herself into the political spotlight during the Conservative leadership race. A Black lawyer from the Toronto area with a PhD in law and a Masters in Environmental Science, she was open about her socially conservative views; she wants to restrict access to medical aid in dying and ban sex-selective abortions.
Lewis came in third in the leadership race, collecting 30 per cent of the available points in the second round of voting before she was knocked off the ballot. She also managed to raise more than $2 million from party members during the campaign.
“I’ve had dozens of ridings reach out to me and ask me if I would consider running,” she said.
While a riding in Alberta or Saskatchewan would be the safest choice, Lewis said her children were also a significant factor in her decision. Her youngest son, 15, is a high-performance athlete.
“I want to find an area that will be able to have a good school, great academics but also optimize his potential with respect to his athletics,” she said.