New members a priority for new liberal leader

Memberships and money will be priorities for Rana Bokhari and the Manitoba Liberals.

Rana Bokhari elected the Manitoba Liberal Party's new leader

Rana Bokhari has been elected the Manitoba Liberal Party's new leader.

The 35-year-old lawyer is a first generation Canadian who was raised on a family farm in eastern Manitoba. As soon as Bokhari was declared the winner, she ran off stage to embrace her parents. 

Memberships and money will be priorities for the Manitoba Liberals. Bokhari admits her work is cut out for her, but said she is ready for the challenge of rebuilding the Liberal Party in Manitoba.

"My focus is on going forward, getting the memberships in, getting people more engaged," Bokhari said. "Engaging the youth, engaging the old, engaging those people that have just been disengaged."

Bokhari joined the Manitoba Liberals in 2008.

It's the first time in 15 years that the Manitoba Liberals have selected a new leader. Members held a convention on Saturday to select a successor to Jon Gerrard, who is stepping down as party leader.

There were three candidates in the running: Dougald Lamont, Bokhari, and Bob Axworthy.

A handful of members walked out on Saturday shouting, "It's a sad day for Liberals."

Former Manitoba Liberal leader Jon Gerrard said he has full confidence in his successor. Gerrard has led the party since 1998 and is confident Bokhari can bring new blood to the party.

"She's already demonstrated that she's very good at bringing in people and she has a passion and charisma," Gerrard said.

Gerrard said he will continue to serve as the MLA in River Heights.