Windsor

Windsor-Essex candidates making final push for your vote

With less than 24 hours before results are announced — amid an election that has shaped up to be one of the hardest to call in recent memory — CBC News spoke with candidates from the Conservative, Liberal and New Democratic parties in each of the three ridings in Windsor-Essex to find out how they're handling this final stretch of campaigning.

CBC News spoke with candidates in 3 area ridings to discuss nearing finish line

Tonight is the night, as voters head to the polls to decide who will represent their respective ridings.

It's election day — and that means candidates in Windsor-Essex are making their final push to earn your vote.

With less than 24 hours before results are announced — amid an election which has shaped up to be one of the hardest to call in recent memory — CBC News spoke with a candidate from the Conservative, Liberal and New Democratic parties in each of the three ridings in Windsor-Essex to find out how they're handling this final stretch of campaigning.

These interviews have been edited for clarity and length.

In Windsor-Essex, the Conservative Party is represented by Chris Lewis (Essex), Leo Demarce (Windsor-Tecumseh) and Henry Lau (Windsor West).

Conservative Party

Leo Demarce (Windsor-Tecumseh candidate)

We're nearing the end of the campaign. How are you feeling ahead of the vote?

I'm feeling fantastic. I'm getting amazing response at the doors. People are telling me that they support me. They're calling me from out of the blue. I just had an old high school teacher — one of my favourite people that I knew in high school — call me up [and] tell me that he just got back from being out of town to let me know he's going to support me. Just all kinds of reconnection with people from the past and new connections. I've been fortunate to knock on over 15,000 doors now and really get to know the issues of the local community and how much they're looking for a change.

Where are you focusing your campaign efforts as the vote draws near?

I've got a couple of people out on different areas. We've got some parts of Tecumseh, some parts of Fountainbleu, St. Clair Beach, I've got somebody in Walkerville and I believe I'll be going into Riverside at some point today as well. So we're hitting all sorts of spots around, trying to find all the little niches that we might have missed in our search across the city.

Is there any kind of last pitch you're making to voters?

It's the same consistent message. We're here to make life more affordable. We're here to bring some common sense back to Ottawa — to eliminate the carbon tax, bring down costs for the average person and to bring a sense of fairness back into the overspending that's going on. People are telling me that they're afraid for their future. They're afraid for their kids' future and don't want to see us put that into jeopardy.

As you come to the end of the campaign trail, what lessons have you learned along the way?

I learned that you've got to have faith, which I do have, because you can get tripped up and get discouraged — and that is just something that you pray through — and persevere, because it's quite a marathon, not a sprint. So every day, waking up, giving thanks for what you've got and then pursuing what's in front of you and not letting lies or anything get in the way of keeping the message clear. The biggest thing I've learned is making sure I stay true to my own message — not to get caught up in others — and to just stay the course.

What have you found to be the most challenging part of this campaign?

Making sure I've got good shoes, because there's a lot of work. I would say other challenges is staying on top of the policies, making sure I stay on message and allowing myself the freedom to breathe through that and to just understand that people are behind me and knowing that, because I'm not a career politician, that my polish is in my effort and in my genuineness and my desire to serve my community.

In Windsor-Essex, the Liberal Party is represented by Sandra Pupatello (Windsor West), Audrey Festeryga (Essex) and Irek Kusmierczyk (Windsor-Tecumseh).

Liberal Party

Audrey Festeryga (Essex candidate)

We're nearing the end of the campaign. How are you feeling ahead of the vote?

I'm excited. I am getting such positive reception at the door. I'm very, very excited to see [tonight's] outcome. People have been really embracing the Liberal platform and are truly looking forward to four more years.

Where are you focusing your campaign efforts as the vote draws near?

Since today is the last day, we are focusing our efforts on getting out the vote. We definitely want to make sure that we target those voters who we have identified as being Liberal supporters and ensuring that they actually get out and vote.

Is there any kind of last pitch you're making to voters?

The pitch would simply be to vote for effective representation, a strong voice in Ottawa and vote with your conscience.

As you come to the end of the campaign trail, what lessons have you learned along the way?

I've learned that the voters of Essex County are very passionate and very committed and definitely want to see this region prosper and do very well ... I've learned that you really have to share with voters who you are and how you can best represent them and I truly believe that I am the best representative for the riding of Essex from this area.

What have you found to be the most challenging part of this campaign?

The most challenging part of this campaign would definitely be the distance. This riding is huge ... The diversity in our riding is the biggest challenge for sure.

In Windsor-Essex, the NDP is represented by Tracey Ramsey (Essex), Brian Masse (Windsor West) and Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor-Tecumseh). (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

New Democratic Party

Brian Masse (NDP candidate)

We're nearing the end of the campaign. How are you feeling ahead of the vote?

It's been an exciting campaign. We're really excited about [tonight] and looking forward to finishing the campaign on a high note. It's been not only a good campaign in terms of positive energy and positive messaging with regards to the things that we want to do in the future for Windsor West, but also that we've clearly identified auto jobs, environmental protection, health care and housing as priorities that Windsor West residents resonate with the NDP platform.

Where are you focusing your campaign efforts as the vote draws near?

Continuing what we've been doing is knocking on doors. And my approach to politics has always been learning from constituents all the time and this continues today as it was for the first day, so we're finishing that work and then also preparing our team. And that's been one of the most exciting things that we do as a group — that we're all working in different capacities to get ready for [tonight].

Is there any kind of last pitch you're making to voters?

I think that they've seen the same consistency of a positive approach to politics and the teamwork approach that we do with our constituents ... We've taken the road that we want to build and unite the community, whether it be on the auto, the border or the environment or health care versus that of negativity.

What have you found to be the most challenging part of this campaign?

There's been some misinformation and some things put out there that were not necessarily helpful for the residents here ... It really has been an opportunity to be able to knock on doors and learn from people and and I wish I could get to every single door and I wish I could get to talk to every single person but it's just not the case. So it's been exciting to get that feedback from residents, whether it's been on the environment, on our health care or the challenges that they face on a day-to-day basis.

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