Ontario Liberal candidate withdraws, party three short of a full slate

·1 min read

The Ontario Liberals have lost another candidate with one week to go until voting day.

Leader Steven Del Duca says Audrey Festeryga has withdrawn her candidacy in Chatham-Kent-Leamington and will no longer appear on the ballot for the Liberals.

The development means there are now three ridings in which the Liberals aren't running a candidate for the June 2 provincial election.

Festeryga had stepped in after the party dropped a previous candidate in the riding who had used a homophobic slur on social media when he was a tween.

But Festeryga's candidacy was also called into question by the New Democrats, who have alleged that she was fraudulently registered with signatures gathered in support of the dropped candidate.

Del Duca refused to comment on the validity of the fraud accusations but instead accused the NDP of "attacking" Festeryga, which he says drove her to withdraw from the race.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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