An Elliott challenge would be distracting, Sault MPP says

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In her statement acknowledging Ford's win, Elliott reiterated that she still plans to seek a seat in the provincial election in June. "That is why our team took the last twenty-four hours to review the results of an election that was incredibly close", she said in the written statement.

"After completing my review, I am confident in the results". "At the end of the day, Doug Ford was selected as the victor by a legitimate process that they already had established and we're looking forward to the campaign in May into June because there's no question in my mind that Ontario wants a change and we're going to present that change".

So over the weekend while most of us were scrambling to figure out if what time it actually was (daylight savings struggles), Doug Ford was elected as leader of the Progressive Conservative party of of Ontario.

"Mr. Ford and I disagree on a lot of things", she said. He said he is eager to debate Ms. Wynne and vowed to unite his fractious party and win the largest majority in his province's history. "It is always about who we're fighting for and what we are fighting for".

Doug Ford has himself been the subject of drug allegations. "We knew it was going to be a close race but we didn't expect it to be that close".

She said this is the same party executive that created problems among a number of Tory nominations, including Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas that resulted in accusations of ballot stuffing.

Wynne said those numbers are not what she's focusing on.

"I think he can reach outside of the traditional Conservative base and reach communities the Conservatives have stumbled to attract in past elections", he said, listing the areas around Toronto as an example.

Ford, who met with Elliott Sunday night, said they were putting the heated competition behind them.

Christine Elliott attends the Ontario Progressive Conservative Leadership announcement in Markham Ont. on Saturday
Christine Elliott attends the Ontario Progressive Conservative Leadership announcement in Markham Ont. on Saturday

The governing Liberals were quick to denounce Ford, who is known for being the brother of late scandal-plagued mayor Rob Ford.

Ford says he spoke with Wynne this morning and stressed that she's a respected campaigner who he's not going to underestimate.

Meanwhile, Premier Kathleen Wynne claims Ford's jump into the race hasn't impacted her strategy in the slightest.

"I appreciate her (Elliott) thoughts".

He said it is too early to tell what kind of impact Ford's election as leader will have on the local campaign. I look forward to working with him.

Meanwhile, Mulroney - the only leadership hopeful already declared a candidate in a riding - has presented herself as a fresh face, and Granic Allen has emphasized her ties to the party's grassroots.

He agreed any challenge would be a distraction and make things hard for the party to move forward as a united caucus as it heads toward the provincial election. "She'll play an instrumental role and we want to make sure together we are going to defeat Kathleen Wynne and bring prosperity back to the province". The Tories haven't held power since Wynne's predecessor Dalton McGuinty defeated former Premier Ernie Eves in 2003. "The membership has spoken and the person they best think to lead the party has been selected and it's great to see that Christine has recognized the leader as well".

A month-and-a-half after former leader Patrick Brown resigned following sexual misconduct allegations, the race to find a new leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservative Party came to an end Saturday night in Markham, ON.

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