Deadline looming Sunday for local Tory nomination

By Allan Benner, The Standard

The next provincial election is still more than a year away, but local Progressive Conservatives have only a few days to apply for the job of leading the party into that election.

Keith Cumming, president of Niagara Centre’s provincial PC Riding Association, is urging party members who want to represent the party in the next election to apply for the nomination before the 5 p.m., Sunday, deadline.


“The more members that get involved, the better for the riding for sure,” he said.


Although Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs, was the first to toss her hat in the ring in the hope of leading the Progressive Conservatives into the 2018 provincial election, Cumming said he knows of several more people who have expressed an interest in the job.


“There are a number of people that have contacted me over the last few months and have shown interest in running for the PC nomination,” he said.


Although the provincial election is currently set for June 7, 2018, Cumming said it’s important to select a candidate to introduce to voters as early as possible.


“Who knows, (the province) might call the election earlier, so as soon as we can get promoting our candidate the better for our riding,” he said.


And he feels confident that after more than 40 years of being represented by the provincial New Democratic Party, Niagara Centre voters are “ready for a change,” he said.


“I sure hope so, that’s for sure. It’s time to have someone at the table. We just haven’t had the representation that we needed for a lot of years, so it’s about time,” Cumming said.


“We need someone there at the table fighting for us, all the way.”


Frank Campion, who was later elected as Welland’s mayor, ran for the PCs in the 2014 election, finishing second with 12,947 votes – more than 8,300 votes shy of defeating MPP Cindy Forster.


Niagara Centre PCs will choose their candidate at a nomination meeting on Sunday, April 9, at Central United Church, 12 Young St., Welland.