Christine Elliott tops in fundraising so far as PC leadership nominations close
Deputy Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Christine Elliott has raised far more money than her four rivals in the party's leadership race, according to figures filed with Elections Ontario.
Nominations for the race to replace Tim Hudak closed at noon but the five candidates still have until the end of February to sign up new members, who will be eligible to vote for the new leader in early May.
Elliott has raised $515,000 so far in her second bid to become PC leader, with MPP Vic Fedeli, a former North Bay mayor, a distant second at $156,650, followed by Barrie MP Patrick Brown at $105,000.
Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod has not filed any donations yet with Elections Ontario, but a spokeswoman says her campaign has raised $105,000 to date.
Officials with the campaign of London-area MPP Monte McNaughton, the last to enter the race, declined to say how much he has raised, but said they would file donations with Elections Ontario on Sunday.
Elliott, the widow of former federal and provincial finance minister Jim Flaherty, got several $20,000 and $25,000 donations from individuals and corporations, and the single largest donation so far: $100,000 from a 24-year-old former Queen's Park intern named Adam Moryto.
A spokesman for the Elliott campaign says Moryto and Elliott had some mutual friends from his days at the legislature but no relationship, and he approached the campaign with the offer to donate money.
Moryto, who describes himself as an actor and producer on his social media sites, could not be reached for comment on his $100,000 donation to Elliott. His grandfather founded Ram Forest Products, based in Vandorf, Ont.