The eventual field of candidates seeking to replace MPP Liz Sandals in the 2018 provincial election may currently be a race of just one, but the local Liberal and NDP riding associations are currently searching for their candidates.
Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, officially began his campaign as that party’s Guelph candidate in July.
Voters in Guelph have sided with the governing party in every provincial election since 1987, a trend that could change if Schreiner is elected in 2018 and his party does not form government.
Geoff Krauter, Guelph NDP vice president, said the local riding association is in close contact with staff from the Ontario NDP (ONDP).
“Our local committee has been working hard to identify and encourage progressive leaders in the community, and honour the ONDP's commitment to fielding diverse candidates for nomination, particularly in competitive ridings like Guelph,” said Krauter.
The 1990 election — after which the NDP formed the government of Ontario — is the last time an NDP candidate has represented the riding, when it was called Guelph—Wellington.
Prior to 1987, Guelph was represented at Queen’s Park as part of the Wellington South provincial riding.
Jean Stevens, president of the Liberal Party of Ontario riding association in Guelph, said they are currently searching for a candidate to run in next year’s election.
“The process is somewhat involved and the date for the nomination meeting will be determined when the vetting of potential candidates has been completed,” said Stevens.
Guelph’s current MPP, Liz Sandals, has represented the Guelph—Wellington riding under the Liberal banner since being elected in 2003.
The Guelph—Wellington riding was split in 2007 into the riding of Guelph and a second riding called Wellington—Halton Hills.
Sandals has represented the riding of Guelph since the 2007 split.
The Ontario PC party represented the Guelph—Wellington riding in the two elections held between the 1990 NPD election win and 2003, when Sandals first took the riding for the Liberals.
PC party leader Patrick Brown is in Guelph for a private fundraiser Friday night.
GuelphToday did not hear back from local Ontario PC party riding association for this article, despite numerous calls and emails made over the last week to the contacts listed on their web site.