Campaign manager to replace NDP candidate Stefan Jonasson in Winnipeg

The NDP have a new candidate in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley. Tom Paulley will take over the race from Stefan Jonasson, who stepped down after a social media posting surfaced in which he compared an Orthodox Jewish sect to the Taliban.
NDP candidate Stefan Jonasson stepped down in the wake of the publication of a social media posting he made comparing an Orthodox Jewish sect to the Taliban. Tom Paulley, his campaign manager, will replace him as the Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley NDP candidate. (CBC)

The NDP has a new candidate in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley.

Tom Paulley will take over the race from Stefan Jonasson.

The party asked Jonasson to drop out after an online comment surfaced in which he compared an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group to the Taliban.

Paulley was Jonasson's campaign manager and ran in the riding in 2011.

Incumbent Steven Fletcher is running for the Conservatives. Liberal Doug Eyolfson and Green Kevin Nichols are also running in the riding.

Pollsters tell CBC Fletcher's seat is considered fairly safe to stay in Conservative hands.

"Local candidates don't make that much of a difference, is the reality." said Probe Research vice president Curtis Brown. 

In the last election, Fletcher beat all three opposing candidates combined. 

"People who vote NDP in that riding might not vote at all. Or perhaps they may go to the Greens," said political scientist Chris Adams.

Adams believes Stefan Jonasson's comments were taken out of context, but he says the NDP party hierarchy was bound to move swiftly.

"The NDP are in a dogfight in Quebec. Anything remotely touching on terrorism, Muslim women; anything like that-they are hot-button issues lately," Adams tells CBC News. 

And what's more, Adams says, Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley is not a riding they were poised to take.

"They had no chance of winning [that seat] in Winnipeg, so they had nothing to gain by allowing it [Jonasson's remarks] to drag out."
 

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