Pupatello, Wynne lead as Ontario Liberals pick delegates
MPP Kathleen Wynne speaks during Question Period in Queen's Park in this file photo.
Published Saturday, January 12, 2013 11:42PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 13, 2013 8:55AM EST
TORONTO -- Ontario Liberals will be voting today for the delegates who will be eligible to vote for their next leader and the province's next premier, with two women in the lead after Saturday's balloting.
Sandra Pupatello, who quit politics in 2011, and former education minister Kathleen Wynne were the leaders in committed first-ballot delegates following Saturday's voting, which took place in the north, east and suburban Toronto ridings.
Gerard Kennedy was third, while Harinder Takhar was fourth, former cabinet minister Charles Sousa fifth and Eric Hoskins sixth in results from Saturday's first round of voting.
Today's voting will take place in ridings in the south-west and south-central areas of the province as well as the city of Toronto.
About 44,000 Liberals are eligible to vote to select 16 delegates from each of the 107 ridings to attend the leadership convention in Toronto Jan. 25-27.
A total of more than 1,700 delegates will be joined by another 600 former MPPs, MPs, party executives and others eligible to vote for the new leader, who will automatically become Ontario's next premier.
Former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray dropped out of the race Thursday and threw his support behind Wynne, who also served as transportation minister and minister of aboriginal affairs.
Pupatello, who served alongside Dalton McGuinty in opposition and at the cabinet table, did not seek re-election in 2011 when the Liberals were reduced to a minority government.
The leadership race was triggered last October by McGuinty's surprise resignation and decision to prorogue the legislature until a new leader was selected, which killed hearings scheduled to begin the next day into the hundreds of millions of dollars spent to cancel gas plants in two Liberal-held ridings.