Selinger takes the Maples

Jumps into lead in leadership race as Oswald brings in heavyweight

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Premier Greg Selinger conquered the Maples during the weekend, grabbing all 117 delegates and jumping into the lead in the NDP leadership race.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/02/2015 (2782 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Premier Greg Selinger conquered the Maples during the weekend, grabbing all 117 delegates and jumping into the lead in the NDP leadership race.

In a tweet Monday, Selinger called his win Sunday a “Great birthday present!” and thanked Maples MLA Mohinder Saran, volunteers and others.

About a third of all delegates have been selected for the leadership race, which will conclude March 8 with the leadership vote.

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press Theresa Oswald laid out her war plans Monday to win the next provincial election, including bringing in longtime NDP strategist Michael Balagus.

“This is certainly a big boost in the numbers for sure and we’re in the lead right now on the straight numbers,” said Kathleen McCallum, co-campaign manager for Selinger.

McCallum said she spoke to Selinger about the move into the lead.

“He’s very humbled by this support he’s received, but we continue to look ahead, though, and we’re not taking anything for granted. We know that all the campaigns are working very hard, and we’ll keep on working with our supporters and people in the communities to look ahead to some more victories.”

Meantime, NDP leadership hopeful Theresa Oswald said Monday strong delegate support shows she is the right choice to rise above internal challengers and keep the party in power.

Oswald, backed by dozens of boisterous supporters during a news conference, laid out her leadership mantra, vowing to make “election readiness” the top priority should she prevail at next month’s NDP convention. It will include a comprehensive outline dealing with all elements of government, include fundraising, budget, communications and public outreach.

“You gotta have a plan,” Oswald said to loud cheers. “You just find the best people and get it done. We’re going to come together and bring the best brainpower together.”

Oswald said one of those individuals is longtime NDP strategist Michael Balagus, who has agreed to play a “strategic leadership role” in her 2016 provincial leadership campaign. She said Balagus will be a key figure in ensuring Brian Pallister’s Tories don’t win the election. “We cannot let this kind of change happen. We have to do everything in our power to stop it,” Oswald said.

Balagus was the mastermind behind several Manitoba NDP election campaigns, including the NDP victory in 2011 that gave Selinger a huge majority.

Oswald was buoyed by Sunday’s results in Wolseley in which her supporters took 45 of 48 delegate spots. It came after another strong showing in Transcona and boosted Oswald’s unofficial delegate count to 208 compared with 177 for Steve Ashton and 258 for Selinger after his win in the Maples.

Several party supporters were on hand Monday for Oswald’s announcement, including Rossmere MLA Erna Braun, former MLAs John Plohman and Bonnie Korzeniowski and party members Denise Harder from Portage la Prairie (former Central Manitoba Regional Health Authority chairwoman and labour leader), and Lorraine Sigurdson (former labour leader and NDP president).

“I’m so proud to have these people standing with me, this journey we’re on together,” said Oswald.

 

— with files from Bruce Owen

www.mikeoncrime.com

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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Updated on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:32 AM CST: Replaces photo

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