WINNIPEG — Steve Ashton got the morning headline, but Greg Selinger seems to have won most of the NDP leadership convention delegates that were up for grabs in Inkster constituency last night.
And he also won over Winnipeg North MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who said today she's endorsing NDP Selinger as next premier.
"I am supporting Greg because he cares deeply about the people I represent and would make a great leader for all Manitobans, said Wasylycia-Leis in a statement distributed by the Selinger campaign. "He is ready to lead our party and province today and lead us to victory in 2011."
Wasylycia-Leis has represented Winnipeg North in Ottawa since 1997. Before that, she served in the cabinet of Howard Pawley's NDP government.
According to Selinger's camp this morning, the former finance minister took 61 of 71 of the convention spots.
Ashton lashed out last night at what is described as low-level party grumbling about his campaign strategy of signing up hundreds of members from the city's Indo-Canadian community.
"I know so many people in this community," Ashton told a big crowd in the gym of Stanley Knowles School last night. "I don't just go to the community for votes at election time.
He said he was fed up with the undercurrent of criticism that his new members aren't as committed to the party.
"No one should ever suggest you are second-class New Democrats," he told the crowd before voting began.
But when it ended, Selinger appears to have won most of the delegates last night.
As a federal NDP MP Wasylycia-Leis is one of 214 automatic delegates to the NDP leadership convention in Winnipeg Oct. 17 that will choose between Selinger and Thompson MLA Steve Ashton. The winner becomes premier.
Voting still to come
Delegates still up for grabs in the NDP leadership race between Steven Ashton and Greg Selinger
Constituency meetings, Members, Delegates
Interlake 245, 24
St. Norbert 207, 21
Wellington 187, 19
Point Douglas 124, 12
The Maples 1,377, 138
Fort Whyte 434, 43
Brandon East 177, 18
Brandon West, 126, 13
Minnedosa 41, 4
Ste. Rose 26, 3
Turtle Mountain, 30, 3,
Arthur-Virden 64, 6
Pembina 20, 2
Lac Du Bonnet, 125, 12
Russell 79, 8
Manitoba Young New Democrats meeting
The Manitoba NDP's youth wing, which gets 107 delegates (10 per cent of its membership), will not directly select delegates to the Oct. 17 convention.
Unlike how delegates are selected at the constituency level, members of the MYND will vote directly for the leadership candidate they prefer. The two candidates and their campaign officials will then decide which young NDPers get to go to convention as delegates.
The youth wing had proposed a delegate selection process similar to what is being done at the constituency level, but the party's executive decided that process would be too unwieldy for what amounts to be a province-wide constituency.