A sad night for Tories

‘If John Tory hadn’t opened his fucking mouth, we would have won this riding’

John Rapin awaits election results at his campaign office.
John Rapin awaits election results at his campaign office.

Progressive Conservative candidate Dr. John Rapin, who was a distant second in last night’s election, would have won in Kingston and the Islands were it not for party leader John Tory’s sabotage on the campaign trail, said Gareth Neilson, Rapin’s campaign office manager.

“If John Tory wasn’t the leader of this party, we would have won this riding. As a matter of fact, if John Tory hadn’t opened his fucking mouth, we would have won this riding.”

Conservative Party leader John Tory lost in Don Valley West riding to Liberal incumbent Kathleen Wynne. Wynne garnered 49.7 per cent of the votes and Tory received 40.3 per cent.

Rapin, who finished second in the riding with 22.3 per cent of the vote as of 2 a.m. this morning, heard the election results at his Princess Street campaign office surrounded by his campaign staff and about five supporters.

Rapin said he ran because he wanted to have his voice heard, not because he wanted to launch a political career.

“I ran because I thought someone needed to bring forward the issues.”

Rapin said he doesn’t regret his decision to run.

“My team ran a good campaign,” he said. “It was fun. It was an interesting thing to do and I don’t regret it at all.”

Rapin said people often don’t think about health care unless it affects them personally.

“Clearly the message that we’ve been neglecting [health care] in Kingston didn’t resonate,” he said. “I hope that because we’ve been able to bring forward the issue, there’ll be some response to that politically, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Rapin said the Liberals are losing popular vote support. In 2003, Liberals won 46.45 per cent of the popular vote. As of 2 a.m. this morning, they had garnered 42.2 per cent.

“It’s hard to believe that the electorate will actually put Premier McGuinty back in,” he said.

When asked his opinion on Tory’s loss, Rapin shrugged.

“How’s that for a comment?” he asked.

At Whiskey Willies, where Rapin’s friends and family later gathered to support him, they also expressed disappointment with Tory.

Ian Walsh, Rapin’s friend, said Kingston lost the chance to have an intelligent MPP because of Tory.

“It’s not to put Gerretsen down in any way, but [Rapin] would have brought something different. [Rapin] obviously was tied to a sinking ship. John Tory really cost his party,” he said.

“You can’t win your own riding?”

Dr. Hans Westenberg, a friend of Rapin’s and PC candidate in the 2003 provincial election, said Rapin was up against a strong opponent.

“I say Rapin ran a very clean and beautiful campaign,” he said. “It’s no surprise that Gerretsen won again.”

Ian Rapin, ArtSci ’07 and Rapin’s son, said he’s proud of his father’s efforts.

“Any time you’re going against the incumbent, it’s going to be an uphill battle,” he said.

“He’s such a nice guy; it’s kind of tough to see him losing.”

Rapin’s campaign manager Bill Giguere said he’s happy with the way the campaign was run. He said the Queen’s Campus Conservatives worked closely with his office.

“It was good to see the youth element. There wasn’t a lot of presence in the last federal election,” he said.

Luke Robertson, Queen’s Campus Conservatives policy director, said he was disappointed with the results in the Kingston and the Islands riding.

“This is a huge opportunity that we let slip by,” he said. “It’s not like we haven’t been here before. We’re just going to have to rebuild.”

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