Saunderson sails to victory in Simcoe-Grey

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PC candidate Brian Saunderson won the riding of Simcoe Grey last night by a landslide getting 51 per cent of the vote.

Election results put Saunderson in a seat at Queen’s Park with 27,060 votes, miles ahead of Liberal Ted Crysler with 11,680 votes. 

Saunderson gathered Thursday evening at Bear Estate in Collingwood with family and supporters to watch the polling results roll in. 

“Tonight, the people of Simcoe-Grey and Ontario have chosen a Progressive Conservative government that cares about Ontarians, cares about jobs, cares about affordability, cares about healthcare, long-term care, and cares about education,” he said during his acceptance speech. “This is a Progressive Conservative government that is going to take action, work with stakeholder groups and private sector to address the issues that are of concern to you and get things done.”

Saunderson recognized outgoing PC MPP Jim Wilson for his 32 years of service, saying he knows he has big shoes to fill. 

“My commitment to you is to meet that challenge,” he said.

He credited his team for getting him where he is, including those who organized the campaign, donated, hammered signs and knocked on doors. 

“It was an incredible team effort. I personally knocked on almost 3,000 doors and I had some people with me who knocked on as many as that, so it was really a fantastic effort and I think the results have been shown today,” said Saunderson. 

He credited his parents Bill and Meredith Saunderson, who joined in the celebration via Skype, for inspiring his political aspirations. He said he cut his political chops during heated family debates around the dinner table. He said his parents are long-time political operatives going back to the days of Dalton Camp, Robert Stanfield and Bill Davis. He said his father was part of the Common Sense Revolution and served as Mike Harris’ minister of trade, tourism and economic development in the mid-1990s.

“I relied extensively on both Bill and Meredith’s advice throughout this process and they will forget more about politics than I think I’ll ever know,” said Saunderson. 

He was joined Thursday night by his wife and three sons, and he thanked his family for their support. 

Saunderson said he expects his experience as mayor of Collingwood, specifically in his role on Simcoe County Council, will help him adapt at Queen’s Park. He told media his priorities for the riding include seeing the hospitals built in Collingwood and Alliston, a new school for Alliston, and addressing affordability.

Election Day results (unofficial)

PC Brian Saunderson 27,060 votes

Liberal Ted Crysler 11,680 votes

NDP Keith Nunn 5,838 votes, 

Green Allan Kuhn 4,737 votes

New Blue David Ghobrial 2,146 votes

Ontario Party Rodney Sacrey 1,036

None of the Above Direct Democracy Party Billy Gordon 355 votes

Voter turnout 43.32%

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