Familiar faces among contenders looking to win Windsor West

·3 min read
Sandra Pupatello, Anthony Orlando and Brian Masse are running for Windsor West. (Jacob Barker/CBC and Anthony Orlando campaign - image credit)
Sandra Pupatello, Anthony Orlando and Brian Masse are running for Windsor West. (Jacob Barker/CBC and Anthony Orlando campaign - image credit)

In Windsor West, the 2021 federal election ballot will look familiar for those who turned out to vote in 2019.

Last time around, the NDP's Brian Masse won re-election over Liberal challenger Sandra Pupatello by a margin of about 2,000 votes. In the 2021 vote, the pair will be competing once again.

They'll be joined by a new face in politics, Anthony Orlando, who is running under the Conservative banner. There is currently no Green party candidate in this riding. Margaret Villamizar is the candidate for the Marxist-Leninst Party and Matthew Giancola is running for the People's Party of Canada.

Masse, who has been in office since 2002, touted his work toward getting single-sports betting legalized in Canada, and named other priorities such as increasing domestic manufacturing, more funding for green automotive manufacturing, housing and protecting Ojibway Shores and turning it into a national urban park.

Masse said it was "selfish" for Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to trigger an election during this stage of the pandemic.

"We should have been focusing on protecting people and getting them the supports they need like long-term health care supports and pharmacare, other things like that," he said.

"But we're in an election now, and Jagmeet Singh and the NDP certainly have wind in our sails as we're looking to make Parliament work."

Elections Canada
Elections Canada

While her 2019 challenge to Masse was unsuccessful, Pupatello, a former provincial cabinet minister who led portfolios including education and trade, captured 36 per cent of the vote.

She said people should take her experience in the provincial government into account when deciding whether to vote for her.

"When you realize what is happening everywhere else in Canada when you've got a strong Liberal government that's busy trying to support Canadians, and then we don't have our own voice here for Windsor West, I hope people have seen that and maybe that will encourage them," she said. "Come out to vote this time, vote Liberal, get me to Ottawa so I can prove that everything I did for them as their MPP for all those years, the number of investments that we brought to this area, it can happen again."

Last election, the Conservatives received 19 per cent of the vote in the riding with candidate Henry Lau.

The current Conservative candidate, Anthony Orlando, is an LCBO store manager who has never run for office.

And while he hopes this time will be different in the riding, he said it will be an uphill climb.

"We need every single Conservative-minded individual, anyone that wants change, anyone that wants to see a difference in the lives of themselves and the lives of their children and their future, we need them coming out to the polls," he said.

The vote is set for Sept. 20. And Windsor-West isn't the 2019 only local rematch on the ballot.

In Essex, incumbent Conservative Chris Lewis and the NDP MP he defeated in 2019, Tracey Ramsey, are both running again. In Windsor-Tecumseh, Cheryl Hardcastle of the NDP is trying to reclaim that seat, lost to incumbent Liberal candidate Irek Kusmierczyk.

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