The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario’s riding association for Guelph is considering reaching out to leadership candidate Christine Elliott to run for the seat as the Liberal incumbent retires, a source speaking on background told the Post.
Elliott, 62, on Thursday announced her bid for the leadership position via a short but simple message on Twitter, and Guelph’s Member of Provincial Parliament Liz Sandals made clear she would not be running again in the riding for the June election.
The Guelph PC’s would only reach out to Elliott should she win the leadership race, where she faces Doug Ford and possibly Caroline Mulroney, among other potential contenders.
On Friday, the Ontario Liberal Party in Guelph announced Sly Castaldi their candidate for the June election, who has held the role of executive director of Guelph Wellington Women In Crisis for the past 14 years.
Elliott was an MPP just short of a decade, from 2007 to 2015, and deputy party leader from 2009 until she resigned her seat and was appointed Ontario’s first Patient Ombudsman, leaving politics behind until her Feb. 1 announcement.
This is the third time Elliott has undertaken a leadership campaign.
In 2009, she challenged three others for the top spot but failed to secure enough delegates to win, coming in third place behind Tim Hudak and Frank Klees.
Despite the support of 19 of the 28 PC caucus members, Elliot failed in another attempt to win the leadership against sole rival contender Patrick Brown in 2015, gaining only 38 per cent of the vote.
She resigned in August of 2015 before her appointment that December to the ombudsman position staring the following June.
The PC nomination date for the Guelph riding is set for April 3.
Elliott on Friday received the support of Conservative MP Erin O’Toole.
The Post has reached out to the Guelph PC Party and attempted to contact Christine Elliott for comment.
More details to follow. Image of Christine Elliott during her leadership race in 2014 from the Toronto Star.