Hey, remember Sarah Thomson? The come-from-nowhere candidate for mayor who made us all fall in love with subways, but failed to catch on and eventually dropped out to endorse George Smitherman? With a public profile only slightly higher than the other also-rans from the mayoral race, she’s been easy to miss until now. She’d been dropping copious hints that she intended to stay in the public eye and run for another public office. Now, according to the Toronto Star, it looks like she’s found it. Thomson will be running for Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal Party in Parkdale–High Park.
Liberal insiders say her aggressive campaigning for Smitherman and her proven track record as a successful businesswoman make her the perfect candidate to tackle one of the NDP’s brightest stars in the Oct. 6 election….
It is unclear whether Premier Dalton McGuinty will appoint her as a candidate — under Liberal rules, he has the power to name five nominees of Ontario’s 107 ridings — or if she will face a contested nomination.
One senior Liberal said it is unlikely the party would force her to win a nomination since so much energy has been spent courting her.
Thomson is, for now, issuing pretty explicit denials (saying, among other things, she still has mayoral debts to pay off, and that nothing is final until she’s back in the black). Are Liberal sources lying to the Star’s Rob Benzie? Whatever the facts, Liberals would do well to remember what happened the last time someone leaked about a Thomson endorsement early: the Rocco Rossi campaign watched as she endorsed Smitherman instead.
If the Star is correct, though, Parkdale–High Park is going to be an interesting race to watch. NDP MPP Cheri Di Novo first won her riding by eight points, then again with 15 (PDF link), so at first glance, Thomson appears to be heading for a trouncing in the NDP stronghold. To put it as gently as possible, Thomson does not have a winning record so far. Even so, the Liberals would be able to crow that attracting the Tory progeny–endorsed Thomson is a sign of their big tent, and that the PC Party led by Tim Hudak is alienating moderate conservatives.
We just hope this is a sign the Liberals have abandoned their original line of attack against Di Novo: OMG! SHE DID DRUGS! WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!