Concerns over legitimacy of Giambrone’s candidacy hurt NDP’s byelection campaign: riding association

The president of the NDP riding association in -Guildwood will press the provincial party to provide “information that is owed” regarding concerns swirling around Adam Giambrone’s candidacy in last week’s provincial byelection.

The “unnecessary” saga between local and the party played out in the media and caused much of the riding’s local volunteer base to abstain from , says riding president .

Mr. Giambrone placed third in Thursday’s byelection, 600 votes shy of the runner-up, PC candidate Ken and more than 1,800 votes behind the winner, Mitzie Hunter.

But Mr. Raghubeer claimed on Monday that the NDP would have faired better in Scarborough-Guildwood, if not for the rift between the party and the riding association.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I think there should have been some communication with the riding association

“Maybe I’m crazy, but I think there should have been some communication with the riding association,” said Mr. Raghubeer, who pulled his support for Mr. Giambrone over concerns that policy was not followed at the July 7 meeting that elected the former city councillor.

Since the onset of the three-week campaign, Mr. Raghubeer and his have been calling on the party to address that 12 out of 32 voters at the nomination meeting were ineligible to participate. The dozen in question were not named on a pre-approved voters’ list, Mr. Raghubeer said.

The runner-up in the nomination, , threatened to seek legal action to revoke Mr. Giambrone’s candidacy, but backed away from those threats after meeting with NDP lawyers. After that meeting, she told the Post there was not enough time to run.

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“Those who know me know I’m a fighter. I will continue to fight a flawed and unfair nomination process with all the means available to me,” Ms. wrote in a July 19 statement.

But on Monday, she said she had no plans for the near future.

“We’ll see how things unfold,” said Ms. Chhabra, who lost to Mr. Giambrone by a reported four votes.

In a letter to the riding association last month, NDP provincial secretary Darlene Lawson said a full riding membership list would be released “once byelections are over and staff resources permit.”

Those who know me know I’m a fighter. I will continue to fight a flawed and unfair nomination process

The “unsatisfactory response” caused many of the dedicated volunteers on the riding association to wash their hands of the campaign, said Mr. Raghubeer, adding that he did not speak to the candidate at all in the weeks leading up to the byelection.

“If [the party] had worked well with the riding association there could have been an opportunity to place higher,” he said, adding that a series of attempts to discuss his concerns with Mr. Giambrone went unanswered.

“We’re wondering if he’s going to approach us at any time, given that he wanted to represent this riding … We’ll definitely be engaging the party to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Mr. Giambrone avoided questions on his nomination throughout the campaign, at one point saying he was not interested in discussing details of an “administrative” matter.

Repeated calls and emails to Mr. Giambrone and his press secretary were not returned on Monday afternoon.

Last month, Ontario NDP spokesman Michael Rosenstock said “everyone who voted at the nomination meeting met the requirements of the vote.”

But when asked several times to clarify whether that meant each voter lived in the riding and had been a member for the 30-day minimum, Mr. Rosenstock simply repeated the same phrase. He did note that members agreed to destroy ballots and declare a unanimous nomination following Mr. Giambrone’s victory.

National Post

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