Cambridge PCs pick Belinda Karahalios to run in provincial election

Belinda Karahalios has been named Progressive Conservative candidate in Cambridge for the upcoming Ontario general election.

'They called her a newcomer, but she performed like a poised campaign veteran'

Belinda Karahalios won the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party nomination in Cambridge on Saturday. (Submitted photo)

After months of confusion, changed meetings and people seeking, then not seeking, the nomination, the Progressive Conservatives in Cambridge have finally chosen a candidate for the upcoming provincial election.

Belinda Karahalios won the nomination on Saturday afternoon.

Karahalios's husband is Jim Karahalios, who had a public spat with the party after it sued him. The party alleged he used a proprietary mailing list to disseminate information to current and former members of the party. A judge found there was no merit to the lawsuit.

In a statement from the party, Belinda Karahalios said she was honoured by the win.

"The fantastic turnout of over 600 Cambridge PC members shows the excitement of our party's grassroots to participate in 'open, public, and democratic' nominations," she said.

Meeting dates, candidates changed

There were four candidates running for the nomination.

The original nomination meeting for Cambridge was set for November, then party officials changed it to October. After members of the riding complained, the October meeting was then cancelled.

A second meeting was then called for March 24, but that one was also cancelled. No reason was given as to why it was cancelled, but it was moved to April 14.

Candidates have also come and gone in that time. Calgary dentist Tanya Khattra, who some alleged did not live in Cambridge, dropped out of seeking the nomination.

Then, PC leadership hopeful Christine Elliott said she would considering running in Cambridge while fellow leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen was on the ballot for the March 24 nomination meeting, but she said she had no intentions of running and was not on the ballot on April 14.

PC Leader Doug Ford congratulated Karahalios on her nomination.

"Belinda makes an excellent addition to our strong Ontario PC team," Ford said in a statement.  "I look forward to working with Belinda as we share our message of change with the people of Cambridge."

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