Both the Liberals and Conseratives, anxious to grab the new mostly rural Flamborough-Glanbrook riding, courted Judi Partridge to run for them in the next provincial election.
'We're confident that we're going to take the riding.' - John Demik, Flamborough-Glanbrook PC provincial riding president
But with an announcement at a Dundas farm Friday, the Flamborough city councillor and self-described fiscal conservative decided to go red.
Partridge, who endorsed Conservative MP David Sweet in Flamborough-Glanbrook the last federal election, said both parties approached her. She weighed both options, she said in her announcement alongside Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin Friday. McMeekin will run in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas in 2018.
"I call myself a blue Liberal," she told the gathering at Dyment's Farm Market, calling the party "a very big tent."
Partridge has differed with the party on Hamilton's light rail transit system (LRT), for example, and said Friday she's still not an LRT fan.
But when she looked at her own "personal values" and priorities for the community, she said, the Liberals aligned.
Still serving as a councillor
"I think it's a good decision," she said. "Let me put it that way."
The Liberals hope Partridge's brand of "blue Liberalism" will help them take the riding Sweet represents federally. Last year, Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown said the party plans to "invest time here."
She will be acclaimed by the riding association as the candidate for the riding at a nomination meeting in August.
The provincial election is on or before June 7, 2018. The municipal election is in October.
Partridge was first elected in Ward 15 in 2010. She'll continue to serve as a councillor, and still pitch in to help in Ward 14, where Coun. Robert Pasuta is on sick leave.
The Flamborough-Glanbrook provincial PC association hasn't nominated a candidate, but president John Demik feels good about it.
Patridge is "a formidable candidate" and "has been a competent councillor and an active part of the community," he said. "But we're confident that we're going to take the riding."
'Decided long before that schmozzle'
There's been speculation for months about whether McMeekin would run again, particularly after he stepped down from Premier Kathleen Wynne's cabinet last year.
McMeekin will run against Ben Levitt, the 25-year-old Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas PC candidate, whose nomination has been the subject of some controversy.
Two opponents — Vikram Singh and Jeff Peller — have asked Ontario court for a judicial review over allegations of nomination tampering and ballot box stuffing.
McMeekin said that had no bearing on his decision to run.
"I had decided long before that schmozzle."