Former Tory Eve Adams, who appealed personally to Prime Minister Stephen Harper — to no avail — to let her run for the Conservatives in the next federal election, has now failed in her bid to carry the Liberal banner instead.

Adams was soundly defeated Sunday in the Liberal nomination battle in the Toronto riding of Eglinton–Lawrence, falling to lawyer and former riding association executive Marco Mendicino, the only other candidate in a hotly contested race.  

Party officials said Mendicino garnered 1,127 votes to 792 for Adams.  

Marco Mendicino

Lawyer Mendicino got 1,127 votes to Adams's 792. He will now face Finance Minister Joe Oliver in the federal election. (@marcomendicino/Twitter)

Adams, who crossed the floor to the Liberals in February and currently represents the riding of Mississauga—Brampton South, west of Toronto, ran afoul of the Conservatives as she fought for the party's nomination last year in the new riding of Oakville–North Burlington. 

She and her fiancé — former top Conservative Party official Dimitri Soudas — were accused of breaking the rules by paying for memberships, allegations they denied.

Sunday's result in Eglinton–Lawrence means Mendicino, 42, a married father of two, will now face off against Finance Minister Joe Oliver in the election, which must be held no later than Oct. 19.

Eve Adams Trudeau

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's warm embrace of Adams when she crossed the floor in February angered some party members. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

"There's no booing for Eve," he said in a victory speech. Earlier, during the candidates' final speeches to riding members, Mendicino called Adams's decision to leave the Conservatives "a courageous one" and said "I salute you."

Adams had been welcomed personally into the fold by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, whose warm embrace of her angered some party members.

Some of that disaffection was on display Sunday as Adams, who does not live in the constituency, made a final, unsuccessful appeal to riding Liberals to let her carry their standard against Oliver.

She had barely begun her pitch to about 150 members in a steamy high school auditorium when a man stood up in the audience.

"I urge you today for the sake of the party, if you love the Liberal Party, please withdraw," he said.

Adams ignored the heckle.

After her loss was announced, Adams said she would spend some time with her family but suggested she would not disappear from politics.

Oliver issued a statement Sunday night saying, "I welcome Marco Mendicino as the Liberal candidate for Eglinton–Lawrence."

The riding president for the NDP, which has yet to choose a candidate, extended his congratulations to Mendicino as well. "It is very good for Eglinton–Lawrence that the local candidate won against somebody who had no ties whatsoever with the riding," Thomas Gallezot said in an email. 

Eglinton–Lawrence had gone Liberal in every election from its creation in 1979 until 2011, when Oliver defeated incumbent Liberal and former cabinet minister Joe Volpe by 47 per cent of the vote to 38 per cent. 

Corrections

  • Vote totals from The Canadian Press initially reported in this story — 1,936 for Mendicino to about 1,100 for Adams — were incorrect. CP now says Mendicino received 1,127 votes to 792 for Adams.
    Jul 26, 2015 9:58 PM ET
With files from The Canadian Press