Clement to lead SDSG Liberals into federal election

Bernadette Clement takes a bow, thanking her supporters, after winning the SDSG federal Liberal nomination on June 23, 2015. She is joined by candidates Corey Kalsi, center, and Patricia Pichette. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Waving her hands up and down the side of her body, Bernadette Clement is vowing to be a leaner, meaner contender on the federal campaign trail.

Clement won the federal Liberal nomination on the first round of balloting Tuesday night at Nav Center in Cornwall. There were 263 ballots cast with five spoiled ballots.

“This person is going to be slimmer come Election Day because there’s going to be a modern campaign but there are also going to be classic, traditional approaches,” Clement stated to chuckles from her supporters, suggesting more door knocking and telephone calls.

“Did the other parties have a nomination race in this riding? No. The Liberals did. Because there’s an interest. There’s a renewed interest. There’s a thirst now for something different,” Clement said.

Comparing it to the story of David and Golaith, Clement said she “liked the way” the 2011 election race ended up, where she went down to defeat against Conservative Guy Lauzon. “David had a lot of hope and determination and a little something in his sleeve,” she said.

Clement also thanked her competitors on a clean race and said it “felt good” to be in front of a packed room of Liberal supporters.

A beaming Bernadette Clement thanks her supporters at Nav Center on June 23, 2015 after winning the SDSG Liberal nomination for the upcoming election. Clement vows to add some classic elements to her campaign, which could result in a slimmer lady come Election Day in October. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
A beaming Bernadette Clement thanks her supporters at Nav Center on June 23, 2015 after winning the SDSG Liberal nomination for the upcoming election. Clement vows to add some classic elements to her campaign, which could result in a slimmer lady come Election Day in October. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

“A race is a race and when you’re competing you’re helped along when the candidates are respectful and committed. We all really wanted this,” Clement said.

“I’m so glad to see us all coming together. We really do need to make SDSG a red riding this year…this fall,” Ingleside businesswoman Patricia Pichette said in her concession speech.

Corey Kalsi, a Williamstown school board employee, also carried the message of reuniting the party faithful behind Clement, directing his message to the winner.

“I want to make the first financial contribution to your campaign to get you started on the right track,” Kalsi said to a round of applause.

Kalsi joked that he’s going to have a restful summer not being on the campaign trail.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Clement said there was some doubt in her mind whether she would win the nomination. “The two other candidates worked hard…it makes you the best that you can be.”

Clement says she will step aside from her work, taking an unpaid leave of absence as a city councillor and “step away completely” from her job at The Legal Clinic once the writ is dropped.

Under the federal government’s fixed Election Day law, voters should be going to the polls on October 19, 2015.

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