Editor's note: Late Sunday night, Christine Elliott conceded the race to Doug Ford.
We still don't know how close the race was and may not for some time, but Doug Ford truly edged out Christine Elliott to be the new Progressive Conservatives Ontario leader.
There was a room full of uncertainty, technical issues that turned out not to be true, and a lot of waiting.
Ford is the brother of the late Rob Ford, former mayor of Toronto, and a Toronto councillman. Elliott ran for the top spot in the PC Party in 2009 and 2015; she is also the widow of former federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty, who also ran for the party leadership in Ontario in 2002 and 2004.
Even with the waiting, we knew Caroline Mulroney and Tanya Granic Allen weren't a factor. Mulroney is new to politics but is the daughter of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. And yes, TV's Ben Mulroney is her brother. Granic Allen came into the campaign on a one-note platform, supporting the repeal of the Liberals new sex education curriculum.
All the candidates but Elliott wanted to extend the contest by a week due to concerns over voters not getting the necessary information to place a vote.
Elliott said late last night that she won't concede and there were "serious irregularities" in the Ontario PC leadership race.
Of the 4 candidates, none are currently in Parliament and only Elliott had been a MPP. Mulroney is the PC candidate in York—Simcoe for the 2018 election, which will happen on June 7 at the latest.
Ford replaces PC Interim Leader Vic Fedeli, who took over for Patrick Brown, who resigned on January 25 following sexual misconduct allegations in the middle of one of the more bizarre attempts at a press conference.
Brown did jump into the race to replace himself as party leader. That attempt didn't last long as Brown withdrew from the race. Brown has had other accusations of alleged financial improprieties.
Brown filed a libel notice against CTV News calling it "false" and saying it subjected him to "ridicule, hatred and contempt." The libel notice is the first step in a potential defamation suit.
2 PC provincial leaders resign over sexual misconduct allegations; Saskatchewan Party picks new leader
The Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party were watching from the sidelines. Elliott would have seemed to be the most formidable candidate. Mulroney might have been a wild card in the general election. Ford would seem the easiest to defeat on paper. The Ford Nation act seemed to have limited appeal outside the Toronto suburbs. When Rob Ford was elected mayor of Toronto, most of his support came from the suburbs and he didn't reach 50%.
Then again, Ford defeated 3 women in the PC leadership race and will now face 2 women in Premier Kathleen Wynne (Liberals) and NDP leader Andrea Horvath. As we've noted, there has only been 1 female premier who has been reelected and Christy Clark didn't survive long enough to form government in British Columbia.
When Doug Ford ran for mayor of Toronto in 2014, people asked me what the difference was between the brothers. I described Doug Ford as Rob Ford but without the charm.
Rob Ford, who passed away almost 2 years ago, wasn't supposed to become mayor of Toronto but took advantage of a constituency who wanted something different from David Miller. Ontarians were already looking for a change given how long the Liberals have run the government in Ontario. Patrick Brown was doing well in the polls in an "anybody but Wynne" scenario. On paper, Ford should scare off centrist voters but he shouldn't be taken lightly.
Doug Ford will represent the PC Party in the Ontario election scheduled for June 7. Ford will compete against Premier Kathleen Wynne (Liberals) as well as Andrea Horwath (NDP) and Mike Schreiner (Green).
photo credit: @CBCQueensPark