Fantino wins Vaughan byelection for Conservatives
Ontario's former top cop is one of the latest members of Parliament after Conservative Julian Fantino narrowly won Vaughan's federal byelection.
Fantino took a lead over Liberal opponent Tony Genco shortly after the polls closed at 9:30 p.m. Monday.
He did not emerge victorious until early Tuesday morning.
With 280 of 284 polls reporting, Fantino had 49.1 per cent of the vote to Genco's 46.6 per cent.
Fantino retired as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police in the summer. He had also served as a police chief in York region, Toronto and London.
Rumours had swirled that he would join the mayoral race in Vaughan.
But then Maurizio Bevilacqua, the Liberal MP for Vaughan since 1988, announced he would be leaving federal politics -- to run for Vaughan's mayor.
Bevilacqua achieved that goal on Oct. 25, crushing incumbent mayor Linda Jackson.
On Oct. 12, Fantino announced his candidacy for the Conservative party. Three days later, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Woodbridge, Ont., where he told a crowd that he was honoured Fantino would be running for his party.
"(Fantino) obviously illustrates the deep support that our government has throughout the law enforcement community for some of the things we've undertaken," Harper said at the time.
Fantino also received an endorsement from bombastic hockey commentator Don Cherry.
The Liberals poured resources into the riding, with visits by Leader Michael Ignatieff and many other high-profile party personalities.
The win gives the Conservatives another seat in the vote-rich Greater Toronto area, where the Liberals have been dominant since the 1990s. However, the Tories remain without a seat in the city of Toronto itself.
Two other byelections were held Monday, both in Manitoba.
The Tories held onto the riding of Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette. The Liberals won in Winnipeg North, which means they took a seat away from the NDP.