Former Hamilton police union head running for Tim Hudak's old seat

Mike Thomas is carrying the NDP banner in Niagara West-Glanbrook. He'll run against 19-year-old Sam Oosterhoof, Hamilton lawyer Vicky Ringuette and Donna Cridland.

Mike Thomas is running for the NDP in Niagara West-Glanbrook

Tim Hudak stepped down as Ontario PC leader this summer. There will be a byelection to replace him in Niagara West-Glanbrook on Nov. 17. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

The former head of Hamilton's police officer union is running for the NDP in Niagara West-Glanbrook.

Mike Thomas will carry the orange banner in the Nov. 17 byelection in a riding formerly held by Conservative leader Tim Hudak.

Thomas is the former head of the Hamilton Police Association. The Binbrook resident was also a Hamilton police officer for 35 years. He currently works as a security specialist at Hydro One, which the NDP have fought against privatizing.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath said in a media release that Thomas's run is a chance for the party to make in-roads in the riding.

"I know that Mike will work hard to show people that the NDP is different," Horwath said. "We have a real plan for the future."

Campaign priorities, the party says, include opposing the sale of Hydro One, increasing hospital funding and lowering hydro rates.

"Patrick Brown isn't the answer for the people of Niagara-West Glanbrook," she said. "This riding has been represented by the Conservative party for decades and people here are ready for a change."

Thomas will run against 19-year-old Sam Oosterhoff, who will run for the Progressive Conservatives. The Brock University student pulled at upset Saturday night when he beat out former MP Rick Dykstra, regional councillor Tony Quirk and local journalist Mike Williscraft.

Hamilton lawyer Vicky Ringuette is running for the Liberals in the riding. Donna Cridland of Wainfleet is running for the Green party.