K-W Liberals to pick byelection candidate Aug. 9

Eric Davis ran in the previous provincial election but lost to long-time MPP Elizabeth Witmer. (Photo by Miriam Smit)

The local Liberals will be the last riding association to pick their candidate for the impending Kitchener-Waterloo byelection.

It was announced Friday morning that members of the Kitchener-Waterloo Provincial Liberal Association will vote to choose their representative Aug. 9 at Bingeman’s Banquet Hall in Kitchener. By that time, every other major party will have chosen their candidates for the impending byelection.

Allan Detweiler of the Ontario Libertarian Party was the first to come forward in mid-May, while the local Progressive Conservatives nominated Wilfrid Laurier University MBA instructor Tracey Weiler on June 20 and the K-W Green Party chose research scientist Stacey Danckert on June 27. The local NDPs will be voting for their candidate July 26, with Waterloo District School Board trustee Catherine Fife the only one to publicly declare interest in the candidacy so far.

To this point three people are formally seeking the Liberal candidacy: Waterloo city councillor Karen Scian, local lawyer Eric Davis and Waterloo Regional Police staff sergeant Raj Sharma. Davis, a graduate of WLU, ran for the Liberals in last October’s provincial election, finishing second to PC Elizabeth Witmer by just under 4,000 votes.

Witmer, who was the riding’s MPP for nearly 22 years, stepped down April 27 after being appointed chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

There may be some extra pressure on whoever is named the Liberal candidate as a win in the K-W byelection would give the governing party a de facto majority. Premier Dalton McGuinty has yet to set a date for the byelection and there is little indication he will do so any time soon. The government has until Oct. 27 to call the byelection.

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