Ontario PC candidate asks party to review the nomination in his Hamilton riding

The winner of the Ontario PC nomination contest in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas (HWAD) has asked the party to hold the nomination vote again.

Ben Levitt, who won the contest at a May 2017 meeting in Ancaster, wrote the party's president Tuesday saying he wants the riding included with two others that the party has agreed to do again.

"As a person of integrity, I applaud the efforts to do the right thing in view of questions raised about the conduct of party officials at those meetings," Levitt said in a statement. 

"I would similarly like to clear the air in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas."

If accepted, HWAD would join Scarborough Centre and Ottawa West-Nepean in getting new nomination votes. The party's nomination committee decided late last week to hold new nominations in the other two ridings.

The decision came after the firing or resignation of several party brass, including former party president Rick Dykstra, former executive director Bob Stanley and even former leader Patrick Brown.

Controversy has surrounded Levitt's win since last May. There's even a current police investigation around the actions of some party officials.

Two contenders, Vikram Singh and Jeff Peller, asked Brown to review Levitt's nomination after what they say was ballot box stuffing at one of the voting tables. Brown bypassed a review and certified Levitt, along with several others, in June.

Singh and Peller then asked courts for a judicial review, but both later dropped their cases.

Neither of the cases alleged wrongdoing on Levitt's part, but rather focused on Dykstra, Stanley and other party staffers.

Levitt, who works in MP David Sweet's office, said he's fully confident he and his team had "exemplary" conduct, and added that "the media continues to report on lingering questions."

"As such, I am writing to ask the provincial nomination committee to hold a new nomination meeting for HWAD.

"I intend to be a candidate for that nomination. And I intend to win that nomination so that we can continue the work of offering the people of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas the change they so desire after 15 years of Kathleen Wynne and Liberal mismanagement."

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