Clement officially nominated as the Liberal candidate for looming general election

Clement officially nominated as the Liberal candidate for looming general election
There has been a renewed interest in Cornwall's Syrian Refugee Task Force

CORNWALL, Ontario – Veteran Cornwall city councillor Bernadette Clement was officially nominated as the Liberal candidate for the looming general election Tuesday evening.

Clement defeated Patricia Pichette and Corey Kalsi, the other candidates on the Liberal ticket, at a nomination meeting Tuesday night in Cornwall on the first ballot.

Clement said she felt “moved” by the nomination and suggested her party is gearing up at the right time in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.

“It felt good to be a Liberal tonight,” she said, pointing to the fact that the Grits were the only local party to have a nomination race. “It felt like there was a new energy.

“When you have people running against you it spurs you on.”

Clement said she spent hours phoning local party members to solicit their support.

“We want to do things in a traditional way…people want to meet the candidates,” she said.

It was pointed out to Clement that she will face a steep challenge in the guise of incumbent Tory MP Guy Lauzon, who hammered his opponents by a wide margin – about 21,000 votes, one of the biggest landslide victories in local politics, in the 2011 race. Clement nudged out NDP candidate Mario Leclerc for second place by less than 200 votes.

Many have suggested she’s in for a David vs. Goliath battle again.

“Remember how that David and Goliath story ended up?” she responded. “This could be a summer of change. People are interested in something else.”

Clement said she will step away from city council later this summer in an unpaid leave, as well as her legal practice, to focus on the campaign.

NDP candidate Patrick Burger will also run in the October election.

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