Sarah Harris 'mulling the idea' of running to replace husband as MPP
Published Tuesday, April 10, 2018 5:28PM EDT
Following the sudden ouster of Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris from the Progressive Conservative caucus, his former party has only a few weeks to find a new candidate.
Harris announced Saturday that he would not run in the June 7 election, citing impending eye surgery. On Monday, PC party leaders said that Harris had been booted from the caucus due to allegations involving sexually charged text messages.
Harris has said he had an “inappropriate” BBM conversation with a party intern in 2013 and that the misconduct was limited to the one conversation.
He has been the MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga since 2011, and was the candidate for the PCs in 2007 – the first year of the riding’s existence.
Riding association president Don Kilimnik issued a press release Tuesday saying that the association would move forward with a nomination process to replace Harris.
“Our board members have always taken this responsibility seriously and plan to meet in person as soon as possible to discuss our next steps and to develop our plan to fulfill our collective obligation,” he said.
No candidates for the nomination have publicly entered the race, although Harris’ wife Sarah Harris told local media outlets over the weekend that she intended to seek the nomination.
CTV News contacted both Michael Harris and Sarah Harris on Tuesday, asking if Sarah Harris still planned to attempt to carry the PC banner in the election.
Sarah Harris did not respond before this story was published. Michael Harris said his wife was out, but was “mulling the idea” of seeking the nomination.
“You’ll know more in the coming days,” he said.
Whoever wins the nomination, one local political expert says he doesn’t expect them to have much trouble winning the election.
Wilfrid Laurier University political science professor Barry Kay says Kitchener-Conestoga is considered a “very safe Conservative riding,” and polling trends indicate little chance of either the Liberals or the NDP mounting a serious challenge to whomever wins the race to replace Harris as the PC candidate.
The Liberals have nominated Joe Gowing, a banker and former Catholic school trustee, in Kitchener-Conestoga, while labour advocate Kelly Dick will be the NDP candidate.
With reporting by Max Wark