Kusmierczyk wins Windsor-Tecumseh for Liberals in close contest – Calgary Herald

Kusmierczyk wins Windsor-Tecumseh for Liberals in close contest - Calgary Herald
Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent election results 2019
City councillor Irek Kusmierczyk is Windsor-Tecumsehs new MP. The Liberal challenger defeated NDP incumbent Cheryl Hardcastle by a razor-thin margin on Monday night.

Liberal challenger and city councillor Irek Kusmierczyk celebrates his victory as new MP for Windsor-Tecumseh on Oct. 21, 2019. Dan Janisse / Windsor Star

Windsor Tecumseh Conservative Candidate Leo Demarce is at Johnny Shotz watching the numbers come in and mingling with supporters. Riding hasnt been blue in 90 years. @CTVWindsor @AM800News #Election2019 #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/ZZh7JFqGUL

After 19 years of being NDP orange, the federal riding of Windsor-Tecumseh is a shocking new colour: Liberal red.

Windsor Tecumseh Conservative Candidate Leo Demarce is at Johnny Shotz watching the numbers come in and mingling with supporters. Riding hasnt been blue in 90 years. @CTVWindsor @AM800News #Election2019 #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/ZZh7JFqGUL

Irek Kusmierczyk is the riding’s new member of parliament — taking the seat from New Democrat incumbent Cheryl Hardcastle in a tense, back-and-forth race on Monday night.

Im at the election party for the Liberals in Windsor-Essex; setup has just begun. Stay tuned for my updates on @AM800News and our live broadcast with results at 11pm on @CTVWindsor #Election2019 #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/PqpGs7Hbca

“Folks, we did it!” Kusmierczyk told a cheering crowd of Liberal supporters at John Max sports bar.

Early results for Windsor-Essex ridings trickling in show Liberals in the lead in Windsor-Tecumseh and Conservatives ahead in Essex @AM800News @CTVWindsor #Election2019 #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/TxlrVc1GVJ

“It’s hard to believe that we started this campaign four weeks ago, and we’ve achieved so much … I am humbled — extremely humbled.”

This interactive map shows results across the country. You can zoom in and view the map by province, region, and city-by-city. On a national level, CTV News has declared a Liberal minority government.

After 99 per cent of polls had reported, Kusmierczyk’s result was a 33.4 per cent majority (18,583 votes) of the riding’s total elector turnout.

The man of the night has arrived at Deer Run Golf Course in Chatham. @DaveEppCKL hoping to represent this riding as the next MP. @CTVWindsor @am800cklw #election2019 #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/AK7OOOcmIq

Dedicating the victory to his parents, Kusmierczyk said the voters of Windsor-Tecumseh made a “clear choice tonight” to support a candidate who offered “a strong voice in Ottawa and a seat at the table.”

The two leading candidates traded the top spot deep into the night as the polls turned in their numbers.

At one point, with just over 70 per cent of polls tallied, there was a two-vote difference between Kusmierczyk and Hardcastle.

Windsor NDP supporters at the Serbian Centre watch as poll results come in on election night, Oct. 21, 2019. Dalson Chen / Windsor Star

"As your Member of Parliament I'm going to continue to advocate for the auto sector and auto jobs, I will continue to advocate for more funding for flood mitigation, make sure our health care system is the strongest it can be, and make sure young people have the skills and education they need to succeed in today's economy," added Kusmierczyk.

Conservative candidate Leo Demarce was left in third place throughout the night, ending with 27.9 per cent (around 15,500 votes).

"We knew we were up for a tough fight here. We know that it was going to be close, but we didn't' realize how close it was going to be," he says. "A lot of credit to Cheryl and all the candidates that ran a really tough race, this was a nail biter all the way to the end."

A defiant Hardcastle said she isn’t done fighting for “a government that takes care of everyone.”

"I've always been a community oriented person and I'm going to continue doing that, but tonight it's about my team, it's about the Windsor-Tecumseh NDP riding. Incredible, incredible people with a real passion for making sure that all voices are heard," she added.

“We’re not finished here,” Hardcastle told NDP supporters and volunteers at Windsor’s Serbian Centre after the outcome was clear.

"We've talked to a lot of folks at the door and a lot of the folks are ready. They wanted a voice in Ottawa; they wanted a seat at the table. This is something that residents wanted and this is what we heard here tonight in Windsor-Tecumseh," he says.

“You don’t have to be a member of parliament to be invested in your community. You know me. I’m a comunity activist. I’m a social justice champion.”

Hardcastle, 57, became Windsor-Tecumseh’s MP in 2015, when she succeeded long-serving New Democrat Joe Comartin.

Conservative candidate Leo Demarce came in third, followed by the Green Party's Giovanni Abati, People Party of Canada's Dan Burr and Laura Chesnik of the Marxist Leninist Party of Canada.

You're reading that correctly. 70% of polls in #Windsor-Tecumseh have reported and the difference between @CHardcastleNDP @NDP and @Irek_K @liberal_party is two votes. TWO. #cdnpoli #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/wKRX7sa1HM

The Windsor City Councillor barely took the riding with 33.4 per cent with NDP incumbent Cheryl Hardcastle coming up short with 32.3 per cent.

The riding has been NDP orange since 2000, when it was called Windsor-St. Clair and Comartin took office by defeating the Liberal Party’s Rick Limoges.

Windsor-Tecumseh won the night, electing Kusmierczyk. The 41-year-old director of partnerships at WEtech Alliance isn’t in-your-face, like colleague Sandra Pupatello in Windsor West. But he’s smart, thoughtful, hard-working and determined. He was the best candidate running for any party in any local riding.

Kusmierczyk, city councillor for Ward 7, made a return to federal politics as the Liberal Party’s hope to steal the riding this election.

The 41-year-old team member of WEtech Alliance had a whirlwind campaign that relied heavily on the good will he built from three successful municipal elections and six years on city council.

Kusmierczyk previously ran for the riding’s federal seat in 2011 — when he earned just 12.9 per cent of the vote compared to Joe Comartin’s 49.9 per cent.

But Masse withstood all that. He’s been in office for 17 years. Everyone knows and likes him. He’s a nice guy who consistently advocated for the border, auto industry and environment, coached kids hockey and threw out the first pitch at kids’ baseball games.

Meanwhile, Conservative candidate Demarce — a newcomer to federal politics — expressed satisfaction with his final figure, which was comparable to the Tory result in the riding in 2015.

The area hasn’t had a Conservative federal representative since 1935, but Demarce sought to tap into local dissatisfaction with the Liberals and antipathy for Justin Trudeau.

Despite a third-place defeat, Demarce said entering the contest was a “great experience,” and that he was blessed with a “real groundswell” of support.

But clearly, it wasn’t easy. Kusmierczyk didn’t announce he was running until 13 days before the election. Then he faced a three-way nomination race. Then he faced an incumbent whose party has held the riding for almost two decades.

“Most people told me they’re afraid for the future and they’re upset with their Prime Minister,” Demarce said.

Leo Demarce, Conservative candidate for Windsor-Tecumseh, watches election results at his campaign party in Windsor on Oct. 21, 2019. Taylor Campbell / Windsor Star

Still, voters here were the big winners. All four local ridings, including Chatham-Kent-Essex, were in play. All offered clear choices. All were close races. We showed we’re not married to one party, so nobody should write us off.

Far back in the race were the Green Party’s Giovanni Abati (3.8 per cent of the votes), People’s Party of Canada candidate Dan Burr (2.3 per cent), and Laura Chesnik for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (0.3 per cent).

Early projections suggested Windsor-Tecumseh would be a three-way battle, with the poll analysis website 338Canada.com estimating 33.6 per cent support for Hardcastle, 30.5 per cent support for Kusmierczyk, and 29.5 per cent support for Demarce.

But in recent weeks, the predictions tilted towards Hardcastle, and 338Canada.com’s projection on Monday morning was that the riding would be “likely NDP.”

Campaign signs for the NDPs Cheryl Hardcastle at the Serbian Centre in Windsor on election night, Oct. 21, 2019. Dalson Chen / Windsor Star

[email protected] arrives at the Serbian Centre, where she's comforted by @LGretzky, @PercyHatfield, and other local NDPers. It's the first time #Windsor-Tecumseh won't have a @NDP MP in 19 years. pic.twitter.com/RH5BH4MXap

"We're not finished here," says a defiant @CHardcastleNDP. "I'm gonna continue. Because you don't have to be a member of parliament to be invested in your community. You know me. I'm a community activist. I'm a social justice champion." #Windsor-Tecumseh #cdnpoli #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/nqBge2YV3R