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Slade bows out in third in Sudbury riding

It's now 94 years and counting since Sudbury has been represented by a Conservative MP.
Conservative candidate Fred Slade speaks with a supporter following his concession speech on Oct. 19. Slade finished third in the popular vote to Paul Lefebvre and Paul Loewenberg. Photo: Matt Durnan.

It's now 94 years and counting since Sudbury has been represented by a Conservative MP.

Fred Slade delivered his concession speech at the Howard Johnson hotel in Sudbury on Monday night when the news broke that Liberal candidate Paul Lefebvre had won the Sudbury riding.

“We had hoped to make history and we fell short,” said Slade. “It's been a joy to campaign for these 78 days and the time that we worked before that.”

A small turnout of around 15 people gathered in the hotel's conference room as Slade addressed his supporters and thanked the members of his campaign team.

While disappointed with the result, Slade said that he was proud of what he and his team had accomplished over the course of the 11-week campaign.

“I don't measure our success in this campaign by the number of those votes, I measure our success in the way that we conducted ourselves and the things that we were able to prove and accomplish,” Slade said.

Slade jumped to second place below Lefebvre early on before being leapfrogged by NDP candidate Paul Loewenberg. Slade took 21.1 per cent of the popular vote.

The numbers blindsided Slade to an extent and he drew comparisons to the 1984 election, when Brian Mulroney's Conservatives swept the nation, winning a majority with 211 seats.

“Back in '84 there was a big blue wave that rolled across the country and obviously this red wave is there and it's looking like a pretty solid majority,” said Slade. “With the campaign we ran and the campaign the other candidates ran, I was expecting a close three-way race, but they teach you in campaign school that 90 per cent of the result that you're going to get is based on the national campaign and 10 per cent is based on your local campaign.”

Slade made a phone call to Lefebvre to congratulate him and said that he expects that he will do a great job.

Despite a lengthy 78-day campaign, Slade remained steadfast that he enjoyed every minute of it and had no regrets along the way.

“It was a terrific experience and I can't say enough about the volunteers who came out and helped us, we ran a great campaign and I'm very proud,” said Slade. “It was such a pleasure meeting people at the doorsteps to speak about their concerns and the things that they want their MP to do and I just met so many great Sudburians and great people. During the campaign debates are debates and things get said but overall when I spoke to Paul (Lefebvre) earlier tonight we thanked each other for running good, clean, respectful campaigns.”


*Poll numbers updated 9 a.m. Oct. 20.