riding association president admits nomination race would have been ideal following mpp walkers departure
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Riding Association President admits nomination race “would have been ideal” following MPP Walker’s departure

The Progressive Conservative Party has named Rick Byers as its candidate for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound in the upcoming provincial election.

The decision was made by Premier Doug Ford to skip a nomination race and instead appoint Byers as the nominee after sitting Member of Provincial Parliament Bill Walker announced that he would not be seeking re-election.

President of the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound PC Riding Association Paul Boulter says he understands why Walker made his decision at the time that he did, but did admit that “it would have been ideal” to have a nomination a race to find the party’s next candidate in the riding.

Boulter says “I wasn’t surprised that the party chose to go this route, because the timeline is pretty tight. The writ gets dropped in early May, and having actually done this for the federal party, it would be pretty tight to do this in an effective manner.”

“Am I disappointed that we can’t have a race and all the notoriety that goes along with it? Yes, but I understand why the party did what it did” Boulter continued.

Alex Ruff was named as the federal candidate in the same riding back in 2019, a nomination race that was hotly-contested following the department of former Member of Parliament Larry Miller. Byers also took part in that race, being dropped from the race after the first ballot for having the fewest number of votes among the five candidates that were competing.

Boulter says he holds no ill-will towards Walker for his decision to wait to announce he would not seek re-election, noting that he completely understands, adding “I think he came to a conclusion that he needed to step aside at this time. I respect what he’s done, and feel he has done a phenomenal job for this riding. At the end of the day, it is what it is.”
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