Londoner Kate Graham to seek Ontario Liberal leadership
The academic with no elected political experience is the first candidate from outside the GTA to run
A London academic and community advocate is the latest to throw her name into the race to become the next Liberal leader in Ontario.
Kate Graham, a political science teacher at Western University, announced her intentions Saturday. She first stepped into the political ring last year when she ran for the party in former Deputy Premier Deb Matthew's London North Centre riding.
Graham failed to secure a seat in an election that saw the Liberals claim just seven seats in the legislature and fall one short of the threshold for official party status. She now said she's running to help revitalize democracy in Ontario.
"My campaign will be about inspiring people to use their voice, exercise their power, and be an active part of the discussion about what Ontario's future should be." said Graham in a written statement released Saturday morning.
"This is a conversation that is necessary not only to rebuild our party, but to rebuild our province. I'm ready to listen, ready to learn, and ready to lead."
Former cabinet ministers want job
Graham joins several other in the leadership race, including three former cabinet ministers. Mitzie Hunter, who served as education minister, as well as former child and youth services minister Michael Coteau and past economic development minister Steven Del Duca have already announced their bids.
Former policy adviser Alvin Tedjo has also declared his candidacy.
- Mitzie Hunter to seek Ontario Liberal leadership; vows to 'reconnect, revitalize and reboot' the party
Graham is the only candidate from outside the GTA to put her name forward.
She has been actively involved in community fundraising work in recent weeks in the London neighbourhood that saw a gas line rupture level a home and damage dozens of others.
Her academic work includes research around women's political participation in Canada, including a podcast in which she interviewed most of Canada's female premiers and former prime minister Kim Campbell.
The leadership convention will take place on March 6 and 7 in Mississauga, Ont.