Conservatives name Richard Lehoux to run against Maxime Bernier in 2019
'Together we will achieve great things for our riding,' former mayor tells cheering supporters Saturday
Richard Lehoux has been picked to run for the Conservatives in the Quebec riding of Beauce — taking on MP Maxime Bernier, who quit the party this summer.
During a Saturday morning rally in the riding, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer announced Lehoux's candidacy as supporters chanted his name.
Scheer called Lehoux a "remarkable" candidate who knows the riding well.
Lehoux is the former president of the Quebec federation of municipalities (FQM) and he served as mayor of Saint-Elzéar, Que., for nearly two decades before retiring last year.
Scheer said Lehoux will defend the interests of the region, noting he has a strong understanding of agricultural issues given his history as a dairy farmer.
Watch: Scheer told reporters that Lehoux has the support of 20 mayors from the region
While speaking before the crowd, Lehoux told Scheer he is proud to join such a "formidable team."
He said, after years of defending the interests of the area, he will take local issues to the federal level, defending agriculture, forestry and the people.
"I believe the rural economy is essential for developing our country," Lehoux said.
"Together we will achieve great things for our riding."
Bernier, now the leader of the People's Party of Canada which he founded in September, reacted to the candidature on Twitter earlier this week, saying he wasn't surprised Scheer has chosen a dairy producer to face him. Bernier has taken a prominent stance against supply management.
He again took to Twitter Saturday morning, criticizing Scheer and his "dairy cartel candidate."
In the tweet, he says he hopes Scheer will explain why the people of Beauce must keep paying hundreds of dollars more per year "to maintain a socialist system."
Welcome to Beauce <a href="https://twitter.com/AndrewScheer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AndrewScheer</a>.<br><br>I hope you and your DAIRY CARTEL candidate will tell the people of Beauce why they must keep paying 100s of $ more per year to maintain a socialist system adopted by Pierre Trudeau in the 70s. <a href="https://t.co/M35UXVH8HT">https://t.co/M35UXVH8HT</a>—@MaximeBernier
With files from The Canadian Press