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The riding, located in the heart of the Toronto suburbs and widely viewed as a key electoral battleground, will see a faceoff between seasoned Liberal and Conservative candidates. Newmarket-Aurora has gone back and forth between the two parties over the years and is currently held by a Liberal MP who is not seeking re-election. This time around, a longtime local mayor will be going up against a deposed federal politician hoping to get back to Parliament Hill.
Population: 117,418 according to the 2016 census
Major communities: The cities of Newmarket and Aurora
Incumbent: Liberal Kyle Peterson has announced that his first term in the House of Commons will be his last.
The contenders: Tony Van Bynen, the longtime mayor of Newmarket, Ont., is hoping to succeed Peterson as a Liberal MP. Van Bynen served on municipal council for 18 years and spent three terms as the town’s mayor, retiring before the 2018 municipal election. The Conservative party will be represented by Lois Brown, who served two terms as the riding’s member of parliament before losing her seat in the 2015 federal contest. Yvonne Kelly, who secured 8.5 per cent of the vote in 2015, is running again for the NDP. Other candidates include construction industry consultant Walter Bauer for the Green party and Andrew McCaughtrie for the People’s Party of Canada.
Election History: Belinda Stronach was the first MP to serve the riding upon its creation in 2004, winning the election under the banner of the Conservative party. Stronach was re-elected again in 2006 even after crossing the floor to join the Liberals. Brown served two terms before being defeated by Peterson in 2015. The riding is one of many in the vote-rich 905 area whose voting direction has emerged as a strong predictor of election-night results at both the federal and provincial levels.
Fun Fact: A priest and Elvis impersonator who has been a perennial political candidate in Newmarket-Aurora is running again, but not in this riding. Dorian Baxter, who performs under the name Elvis Priestly, has secured the nomination for the Progressive Canadian Party but will be running in neighbouring York-Simcoe this time around.
The Canadian Press
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