Brampton, Ontario. Mayor Patrick Brown says he is considering running for re-election if it turns out he loses to Conservative MP Pierre Poialivre in September’s party leadership race.
Brown said he ruled out running under the banner of the federal party if Poilivre was given the top job, and his appeal could be to ask Brampton voters to put him back in the mayor’s office.
“If it looks like Pierre is going to win, I’d rather keep working for the municipality than get involved in something that will crash the Conservative Party’s election train,” Brown told CBC News.
While he may be considering another involvement in municipal politics, Brown said he hasn’t made a decision yet – there are still two months of campaigning before the leadership is determined.
“At this point, we still believe we can get that lead, so we’re not looking at any other options at the moment,” Brown said.
If Brown does decide to stay in municipal politics, he will have to file for re-election by August 19, weeks before the results of the Conservative leadership election are announced in early September.
Brown said he would make a decision on whether to run for mayor before that date.
“I will look at the numbers at the end of the summer,” he said. “I’m not going to look at it until we know what this race for the lead looks like, and we don’t even have a voter list yet.”
Brown’s speculation about his future comes after conservative sources told CBC News that the party will release a preliminary list of campaign members on Thursday.
By having access to the master list, campaigns will have a better idea of how many subscriptions were actually sold by competing campaigns.
The sources, who spoke to CBC News on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about partisan affairs, said the campaigns would have just 96 hours to review the list and flag any irregularities, such as duplicate or questionable billing information. to party headquarters.
The final list of eligible voters will be published sometime at the end of July.
Preliminary membership sales figures released by the campaigns show that Poilivre has a significant lead in the race, although the party has yet to independently verify these numbers.
Earlier this month, Poialivre’s team said they had sold more than 310,000 new membership cards, a mind-blowing number that his campaign says indicates their candidate could win in the first ballot. Brown said he sold over 150,000 season tickets.
Brown also said he would consider running for Parliament if anyone other than Poilivere won.
“If any of the five candidates have a path to victory, I would run under any other candidate,” he said.
“I will not run under Pierre. He will be an electoral failure and lose his remaining seats in Canadian cities. The extreme approach won’t sell in my backyard.”
Brown’s camp called Poilevre “extreme”
Brown did not say exactly why Poilivre is undermining the Conservative vote in the Toronto area. The mayor has previously cited Poialivre’s past support for a ban on the niqab at citizenship ceremonies and allusions to “barbaric cultural practices” as campaign commitments in the vote-rich region.
Brown has always said that his path to victory would not only be to conquer the existing Conservative base single-handedly, but to bring in new, diverse members.
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Brown’s campaign co-chairman John Reynolds said the team was confident it could pull off a win even if the numbers at this point in the campaign looked daunting.
He said they were receiving calls from many members of the Conservatives who were repulsed by what he calls Poillevard’s “extreme” approach to politics.
“People in our party don’t like people who call others liars – we often get that from people,” Reynolds said in an interview.
“People who were at his meetings say: “I don’t want to be the leader of this party if someone wants to start playing for ridiculous money. support for new financial instruments, such as cryptocurrencies, whose value has plummeted in recent months.
“I think they were also killed for announcing the dismissal of the head of the Bank of Canada – we are getting calls about this. People called me personally and said: “I was going with Pierre, but I’m going with Patrick.” now. We need someone who can beat the liberals,” Reynolds said.
Poilevre vowed to fire central bank governor Tiff Macklem after criticizing him for mismanaging inflation. This has drawn criticism from some who say he is unfairly politicizing an institution that is inherently nonpartisan.
Tory leadership contenders want a list of members
It’s not just Brown’s campaign that wants to get hold of the membership list to try and block Poilevre’s path.
All the campaigns want to call or email some 600,000 potential conservative leaders to try and get them on their side.
“With the list, we can start to see the true picture of things,” said Steve Outhouse, campaign manager for MP Leslyn Lewis.
Outhouse said that, based on the limited data available to him now, there could be up to 750,000 members eligible to vote, meaning it doesn’t mean that Poilivre will win this race on the first ballot.
There were already 140,000 active members before the race began, with another 150,000 memberships sold on the party’s website, Outhouse said, which combined with the 150,000 memberships Brown claimed were sold and the 311,000 memberships the team advertised Poilivra might be fine. over 700,000 voters to try and influence.
Tasha Heyriddin, co-chair of the national campaign for former Quebec premier Jean Chareste, said receiving the membership list will determine the parameters of the campaign from now on.
“We know there have been a lot of discussions about duplication, registration and things like that. So it will be good to get the final count,” said Kheyriddin.
“Also to be able to connect with all of these members and of course also challenge that. All campaigns will do this. They will scrutinize the list to make sure everyone on it is a legitimate supporter,” he said.
Jamie Ellerton, campaign manager for Conservative MP Scott Aitchison, said his nominee will go on a summer tour and look to boost digital engagement ahead of the September vote.
He is also lobbying for a third official debate, which the party has not yet agreed to hold.
“Given that party membership has doubled, it is important that members are given the opportunity to see candidates tested at the debate stage before voting,” he said.