Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari lost her bid for a seat in Manitoba's legislature Tuesday night, coming in third behind the NDP's winner Wab Kinew and the PC's Audrey Gordon.
"We had a tough game. We're running with zero dollars, with a fraction of the resources, with a lot of negativity, but we had fantastic candidates, fantastic volunteers. We did what we could with what we had," Bokhari said as the Progressive Conservatives ended the NDP's many years in power with a strong majority win.
Bokhari was also running against the Green Party's Grant Sharp, the Communist Party of Canada's Paula Ducharme and the Manitoba Party's Matthew Ostrove.
Former NDP MLA Jennifer Howard, whose move to Ottawa allowed Kinew to run in Fort Rouge, held the seat since 2007 and had become a prominent member of NDP Leader Greg Selinger's cabinet, first as the minister of family services and housing and then as the finance minister.
Bokhari was elected leader of the Manitoba Liberals in 2013, but she hadn't secured a seat in the legislature going into Tuesday's election.
Bokhari wouldn't say if she would stay on as leader of the party, saying it was "not a conversation to have today."
She did say the party was going to "continue working."
"We're grateful for all the candidates – grateful for all the volunteers. It was a tough game. We started from nothing. We grew, that's for sure, but it's definitely difficult," she said. "When you're running on pennies compared to everyone else, you struggle."
Bokhari grew up on a farm in Anola and now has a law degree as well as two other degrees. Prior to becoming the leader of the Liberals, she was a practising lawyer.
Liberals gain ground in Manitoba
Bokhari said she wouldn't change anything in the campaign, adding, "I think my candidates did everything they could ... I think resources are always a challenge."
The Liberals did gain ground Tuesday night.
Former Liberal leader Jon Gerrard held the only Liberal seat in the Manitoba legislature heading into the 2016 election, and he held onto that seat Tuesday.
Liberal candidate Cindy Lamoureux took Burrows and Liberal Judy Klassen won Kewatinook, tripling the number of seats the Liberals held in Manitoba.
For CBC's full coverage of the provincial election, see Manitoba Votes 2016.