Two women have emerged as the front-runners in the race to replace Dalton McGuinty as Ontario Premier and Liberal leader after a weekend of delegate selection votes.
Former Windsor-West MPP Sandra Pupatello, who quit politics in 2011, captured 504 committed first-ballot delegates to the leadership convention, which is set for the weekend of January 25th.
Former education minister Kathleen Wynne, who represents Toronto Don Valley-West, was a close second with 463 delegates.
Former M-P Gerard Kennedy, who lost the 1996 leadership race to McGuinty and also lost a 2006 bid for the federal Liberal leadership, came third with 257 committed delegates. Former government services minister Harinder Takhar has 244 delegates, former labour minister Charles Sousa 198, and former children's services minister Eric Hoskins 104.
The delegate selection votes were the first real confirmation that Pupatello and Wynne are leading the pack late in the race.
Pupatello did not seek re-election in 2011, so like Kennedy she doesn't have a seat in the legislature, but Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has offered to give up his Windsor seat for her if she wins the leadership.
(The Canadian Press)