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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex sends PC’s Leardi to Queen’s Park in “historic” win

by Sylene Argent

The political wave for the region received a splash of blue as a result of last Thursday’s Provincial Election. Two local wins for the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party added to its second majority win, with Amherstburg-based lawyer, Anthony Leardi, being elected for the Essex Riding, and Tecumseh Councillor and Engineer, Andrew Dowie, being elected for Windsor-Tecumseh.

  With NDP incumbents Taras Natyshak, for the Essex Riding, and Percy Hatfield, for Windsor-Tecumseh, announcing they would not run in the election, the PC candidates used the opportunity to gain the seats at Queen’s Park.

  Unofficial Election results listed Leardi as having received just over 51 percent of the vote for the Essex Riding, with 24,682 ballots cast in his favour, which was nearly 11,000 more than NDP’s Ron LeClair received. Liberal Manpreet Brar came in third, earning 4,126 and Ontario Party’s Frank Causarano received 3,305. In addition, New Blue’s Danielle Sylvester received 1283 votes, Green Party’s Nicholas Wendler earned 979 votes, and Kevin Linfield from the None of the Above Direct Democracy Party earned 269 votes.    

  The voter turnout was 47.04 percent for the Essex Riding, which was slightly higher than the recorded Provincial average of 43 percent, but significantly lower than the local voter turnout of 56.12 percent in 2018.

“It’s a historic night,” Leardi said of winning the riding. This was the first time in 60-years – since Richard Thrasher served as the rep for Essex South from 1957-1962 – the Essex Riding voted to send a Progressive Conservative candidate to Toronto.

  “These things only happen with great leadership. There was one-hundred percent great leadership from Doug Ford that made this historic night possible.”

  What led to the election results, he said, was that the PC Party “Put forward a positive platform that said ‘yes’ to building highways, ‘yes’ to building hospitals, ‘yes’ to skill trades. We are proud of saying, we are the party of ‘yes,’” Leardi said, adding he found the NDP were the opposite, and were the party of ‘no.’

  Leardi said he has been working as a courtroom lawyer for 24-years. “I serve my clients to the best of my ability, and now I intend to represent the taxpayers of this riding to the best of my ability as their representative.”

  He gave thanks to his wife, Jackie, and kids, Carmen, Miriam, and Andrew, for all their support, and also to his donors, supporters, and team of volunteers.

  “I told my team to just keep working hard,” Leardi said from his campaign office after the election results were posted. He spoke of the many kilometers he put in throughout the area, knocking on doors to connect with constituents.

  Moving forward, Leardi said he and the PC Party are excited to continue rebuilding the Province’s economy – like the investments of Stellantis and LG for the upcoming electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant, completing the widening of Highway 3, and working to ensure the completion of the future regional hospital.

  In Windsor-Tecumseh, Unofficial Election Results put PC candidate Andrew Dowie, a current Tecumseh Councillor, at the top, having earned around 45 percent of the vote, followed by NDP’s Gemma Grey-Hall with nearly 30 percent, and Liberal Gary Kaschak, who earned 14.5 percent.

  Moving forward, Tecumseh Council will determine how to fill the vacant Ward 1 seat in due course, information from the Town of Tecumseh noted.

  In Windsor West, NDP’s Lisa Gretzky retained her seat as a result of a tight race. Unofficial Election Results notes she earned 45 percent of the vote, while PC candidate John Leontowicz earned 35 percent and Liberal Linda L McCurdy earned 13 percent.

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