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Former Vaughan councillor wins federal Liberal nomination in new King-Vaughan riding
March 9, 2015
By Tim Kelly

Former Vaughan councillor Deb Schulte, defeated at the ballot box last October, on Sunday achieved a small measure of redemption by winning the federal Liberal nomination for the new federal riding of King-Vaughan.

The 55-year-old Vaughan resident beat four contenders to claim the nomination on the second ballot at King Public School. Major Khalifa finished in second place. The other challengers were Gary Gladstone, Carmen Tucci and John Dowd.

Schulte, who served as a regional councillor in Vaughan from 2010 to 2014 before losing her seat last fall, was eager to jump back into politics. And she said she absorbed some important lessons from her municipal election defeat.

“I learned two things after last October,” said Schulte. “The personal touch is really important, you can’t just rely on your reputation. And I had never pulled the vote before. I found out you have to call and call people, you have to come and get them to go out and vote. People get busy and miss voting. You have to make sure they vote,” she said.

Schulte said that she doesn’t take anything for granted anymore.

“We gave it everything we could. I thought I was in a strong position going in (to the nomination meeting),” she said.

When asked about what's ahead, the Liberal candidate said: “We’ve got to expand the team. I will be looking to all the other people who ran for the nomination and to consolidate. I have to work on fundraising to beat the Conservatives.”

She said she is hopeful she will get the support of Liberal stalwarts such as Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, who served as a Liberal MP and cabinet minister in Ottawa for 22 years, along with current Ontario Transportation Minister and Vaughan Liberal MPP Steven Del Duca.

“It’s great, really great where we are right now, but now the hard work really begins,” she said.

The federal election is scheduled for October, but could occur as early as late spring. The Conservatives nominated real estate broker Konstantin Toubis last summer. The NDP and Green Party have yet to nominate candidates.