The controversy surrounding Eve Adams and her fiancé's tumultuous departure from one of the Conservative Party's top jobs doesn't appear to be hurting her chances to win a rambunctious nomination race in the newly created riding of Oakville North-Burlington.
Sources tell CBC News that Adams's campaign team has sold more than three times the memberships than her rival, chiropractor Natalia Lishchyna. Even the people who are working to defeat Adams in the nomination race are grudgingly admitting she has a significant lead.
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Sources say many of those party memberships have been sold by Adams's fiancé Dimitri Soudas, the party's former executive director.
The deadline for signing up new members eligible to vote for the party nomination passed last week.
Soudas made the nomination battle his full-time job after he was fired by the party in March following a dramatic confrontation with senior party officials over using his position to advance Adams's nomination bid.
Soudas and Adams were in Burlington campaigning Thursday.
"The race is extremely tight and every vote counts," Soudas told CBC News.
When asked about Adams's lead in the race he said, "It's not how many memberships you sell, it's about getting those members out to vote."
The nomination race has been heated, hostile and nasty from the beginning.
Lishchyna's campaign complained Adams was improperly using private information from the party's database to help win the nomination.
Riding association president Mark Fedak alleged Adams was verbally abusive at a March 19 riding meeting and sent a letter detailing the allegations to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and copied it to all Ontario Conservative MPs. Harper asked the party to investigate the allegations.
He also called Adams into his office and instructed her to focus on her current position as a member of Parliament for Mississauga-Brampton South and on her role as parliamentary secretary to the minister of health.
In the end, Conservative Party officials rebuked Adams over her aggressive tactics but permitted her to run, so long as she stayed within the rules, including spending limits.
Two weeks ago, Lishchyna accused Adams of vastly overspending in the campaign.
The candidates will get a chance to address the local membership at a meeting on May 22, with the deciding vote held on May 24.