Marco Mendicino trounces Eve Adams in Liberal nomination battle

‘Who wants to take on Joe Oliver?’ lawyer asks after winning Liberal nomination in Oliver’s Toronto riding

Former Conservative MP Eve Adams, left, is seen with rival Marco Mendicino as Liberals chose a candidate to represent them in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence on Sunday, July 26, 2015. (Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press)

Former Conservative MP Eve Adams, left, is seen with rival Marco Mendicino as Liberals chose a candidate to represent them in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence on Sunday, July 26, 2015. (Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press)

Conservative defector Eve Adams failed on Sunday in her bid to run as a Liberal candidate in the looming federal election.

The sitting member of Parliament, welcomed personally into the fold by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, was handily beaten for the party’s nomination in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence by lawyer Marco Mendicino.

Party officials say the vote tally was 792 for Adams and 1,127 for her victorious rival.

The result means Mendicino, 42, a married father of two, will now face off against Tory Finance Minister Joe Oliver in the election that must be held no later than Oct. 19.

“There’s no booing for Eve,” he said in a victory speech.

Adams, 40, left the Conservatives under a cloud related to another nomination fight, and Trudeau’s warm embrace of her angered some party members.

Some of that disaffection was on display as Adams, who does not live in the constituency, made a final, unsuccessful appeal to riding Liberals to let her carry their standard against Oliver.

She had barely begun her pitch to about 150 members in a steamy high school auditorium when a man stood up in the audience.

“I urge you today for the sake of the party, if you love the Liberal party, please withdraw,” he said.

Adams ignored the heckle.

Instead, the MP for Mississauga-Brampton South west of Toronto began her 10-minute speech with a passing nod to Mendicino, before stressing her own political credentials.

“I’m a fighter. That’s pretty clear. I will fight harder for you than Joe Oliver ever will,” Adams told the crowd. “I’m a fighter, I’m progressive, I’m also a young mom, a full-time mom.”

Adams pledged to move into the riding if chosen, and talked up her work ethic. She said nothing about her former party affiliation.

She also paid tribute to the Liberal leader, who both sides said stayed out of the bitter nomination fray.

“Justin Trudeau has a vision,” she said. “He is the most inspired leader I have ever worked for.”

Her speech received mostly polite applause, in contrast to the standing ovation and chants of “Marco!” that greeted the end of her rival’s speech.

Nominated by long-time provincial Liberal Mike Colle, who once said Adams would represent the riding over his dead body, Mendicino began by reminding the audience of Adams’ past.

“The decision to cross the floor was a courageous one and I salute you,” Mendicino said.

“I am not a career politician but I have learned that at its heart, politics is about the people. Our life is in this riding.”

Mendicino, a former prosecutor for almost 10 years, criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives for failing to deliver for “hard-working” Canadians.

Adams left the Harper Conservatives amid allegations of dirty tricks related to a Tory nomination battle last year. Her fiance Dimitri Soudas, who was for years a spokesman for Harper and became the Conservatives’ executive director, was also excommunicated from the party establishment.

Despite the controversy over her defection, Adams’ attempt to run in Eglinton-Lawrence attracted some heavy-weight support, including from the man who helped engineer Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s surprise win last year.

Pundits are divided on how much damage Adams has done to Trudeau. Some said his welcoming her was old news, but others suggested he had shown questionable judgment that could still hurt him.

Related text:
Paul Wells: All about Eve — and suddenly Steve


Marco Mendicino trounces Eve Adams in Liberal nomination battle

  1. Personally, I don’t think Eve ever thought she was going to win in this riding, she new she had a tough slog ahead of her, but she also new another way to get back at Harper and the conservatives, and Trudeau also new, by having her there picking up new memberships would create a whole new pool of voters and volunteers for the liberal party come election time, and from the tally tonight, the grits seem to have accomplished that by creating BUZZ in the district and more than doubled the amount of memberships than they had before Eve entered the race. I thought it was Win Win for the grits tonight.

    • Yes Carpet – a divided party and clear contradiction of a leader who highly praised Eve Adams is a win – win.

      If so – what is a lose-lose?

      • LOL – don’t forget the fighting between provincial and federal Liberals, with Mike Colle vehemently opposing her candidacy. It just adds to the win-win situation.

    • With luck, the guy who brings down Oliver.

      • He has no star power.

        Except for those few people at the meeting, no one knows him

        And except for losing a seat, it doesn’t affect Trudeau at all

        • Adams has no star power either. Unless berating gas station attendants is your idea of star behaviour. (It probably is.)

  2. Has Justin also lost the confidence of the Liberal faithful?

    Apparently all his praise for her was lost on most Liberal voters!

    Does he – in fact – have the confidence of Liberal party members? Or does Bob Rae speak for the majority now?

    • Well Ron, you have addressed the burning question.
      This was a defeat for Trudeau. The party is turning against him, and by the look of it, the Liberal Party may live to fight another day. After the election, and after Trudeau resigns as leader, look for a re-building of the Liberal party. Until Wynne is gone expect very little from the liberal party at all levels.

  3. I also thought it was a Win Win for Trudeau. Lots of Media Buzz. Puts Eglinton-Lawrence race on the national map.

    • That is true. It’s good for Trudeau she lost, but I think he’s got to wear the fact he welcomed her into the party. Not a good move.

      • Well said. You are a fan of Trudeau but you admit this was a mistake. I salute that.

  4. Thank you LPC members of Eglinton-Lawrence. Message sent to Justin.

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