Eve Adams's next step unclear following loss of Liberal nomination
Liberal Party welcomes Marco Mendicino as candidate to challenge Finance Minister Joe Oliver
Liberal MP Eve Adams says she's spending the day with her son following her defeat for the party's nomination in Toronto's Eglinton-Lawrence riding.
- Tory defector Eve Adams loses Liberal nomination race
- Dimitri Soudas buys Liberal membership ahead of vote
The former Conservative parliamentary secretary, who left the party after being denied the chance to run, was defeated Sunday by lawyer and long-time Liberal volunteer Marco Mendicino. Party officials initially said Mendicino garnered 1,127 votes to 792 for Adams, The Canadian Press reported, but updated numbers provided by Mendicino's campaign put him at 1,178 to Adams's 745.
Adams is declining interview requests, leaving many wondering what comes next for one of the party's most recognizable MPs.
In a media scrum following her loss Sunday, Adams was conciliatory. She confirmed she would campaign for the party in this fall's federal election and told reporters, "It's Marco's night."
But she suggested she's not done with Canadian politics.
"You know what? You have to pick yourself up and keep fighting. I think that's the lesson. And anyone that's ever played sports will tell you that it's critical. It's critical to make sure that you get back in there," Adams said.
The former parliamentary secretary to Health Minister Rona Ambrose also praised Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who appeared with her at a joint press conference in February to announce she was crossing the floor — leaving the governing Conservatives to join the Liberal Party.
"I think he's an extraordinary leader, and I think he's going to do so much good for Canada," Adams said, calling Trudeau "completely underestimated."
"You know, Stephen Harper in a caucus meeting is fully scripted. He reads each and every word as he reviews what he did in the past week. Justin Trudeau can actually remember strategy, he can actually remember points. And he speaks, and he speaks from the heart," she said.
Adams currently represents another Toronto-area riding, Mississauga-Brampton South, but had tried to run for the Conservative nomination in Oakville North-Burlington. She and the other candidate for that nomination, Natalia Lishchyna, each alleged the other was cheating to win the nomination, and the Conservative Party postponed the vote. Both candidates eventually dropped out of the race.
Adams's fiancé, Dimitri Soudas, had been the executive director of the Conservative Party, but was fired after he was accused of interfering with Adams's nomination race in Oakville North-Burlington. Soudas spent nearly a decade working for Prime Minister Stephen Harper but is now a member of the Liberal Party.
Trudeau didn't have any public events scheduled Monday and wasn't available to comment on Adams's loss. A spokesman for Trudeau welcomed Mendicino as a candidate.
"Both Marco and Eve worked hard and signed up thousands of new people throughout this process and this is exciting and great news for the party," Olivier Duchesneau said in an email to CBC News.
"We want to thank Eve for her dedication and hard work during this process. Our open nomination process is bringing in many great new faces and last night was another great example of this."
Defence Minister Jason Kenney said Adams's rejection by grassroots Liberals is "another demonstration of Justin Trudeau's poor judgment."
"He made the terrible mistake of endorsing this individual and trying to push her on the local Liberal members who rejected her soundly last night, and I think it's embarrassing for Mr. Trudeau if he can't even carry the confidence of his own members on such a matter as this," Kenney said.
Many Liberals, however, say the outcome shows their nominations are open.
"Mr. Trudeau has consistently spoken about the importance of having open and fair nominations," Mendicino said in an interview with Rosemary Barton, host of CBC News Network's Power & Politics. "And that is exactly what we saw in Eglinton-Lawrence.
"There's no doubt that we worked very, very hard. It was a seven-day-a-week operation for the last six months and it's made us ready to take on Joe [Oliver],"
Carlene Variyan, who sits on the board of the Liberal Party of Canada, said Sunday's vote shows the importance of an open competition.
"Eglinton-Lawrence in the course of less than a year went from 300 members to having 5,000 signed up now because of this nomination race," she said.
"Competition is good, competition forces everybody to rise to a higher level."
And while many questioned Trudeau publicly welcoming Adams into the party at a national press conference last winter, Variyan said it was important to recognize the floor-crossing by a junior cabinet minister.
"It was the exact opposite of a vote of confidence in the prime minister and his leadership," she said.