Langley-area MPs Tamara Jansen and Tako van Popta backed different candidates for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (file)

Langley Conservative MPs welcome new leader

Erin O’Toole wasn’t first choice of both the party representatives in Langley

Langley-area Conservative MPs Tamara Jansen and Tako van Popta were backing different candidates for party leader, but both welcomed the weekend win by Durham MP Erin O’Toole.

READ MORE: Erin O’Toole wins Conservative leadership after results delayed for hours

For van Popta, MP for Langley — Aldergrove, O’Toole was his pick from the beginning.

“You were the first choice on my ballot and are now the leader of the Conservative party,” van Popta said in an online message of congratulations to O’Toole.

“I’m grateful for how you’ve worked for the good of Canada thus far and the unity of the CPC [Conservative Party of Canada]. I look forward to working with you!”

READ ALSO: Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta takes issue with ‘assault-style’ firearm ban

Jansen, MP for Cloverdale — Langley City, saw her initial choice for leader, Leslyn Lewis, finish third behind O’Toole and second-place candidate Peter MacKay.

Derek Sloan finished fourth.

In congratulating O’Toole for his win, Jansen noted that O’Toole, who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force when he was 18, was a three-term MP who served as the minister of Veterans Affairs in Stephen Harper’s cabinet, where he “demonstrated strong leadership qualities and successfully brought that challenging file back on the right track.”

READ ALSO: Cloverdale — Langley City MP Tamara Jansen launches petition to review proposed ban on “conversion therapy”

Jansen noted that in her riding, Lewis “beat out all three [rival] candidates in the riding of Cloverdale — Langley City by a wide margin.”

Party results posted online showed Lewis had 284 votes in the first round of ballots in the riding, while MacKay had 145, O’Toole was third with 134 and Sloan was fourth with 102.

As well, Lewis also finished first among Conservative voters in Langley – Aldergrove, garnering what Jansen described as a “whopping” 557 first-round votes, compared to 238 for Peter MacKay, 282 for Erin O’Toole and 169 for Sloan.

There were three rounds of voting, with candidates having the lowest overall numbers eliminated.

Sloan was eliminated on the first round, and Lewis was eliminated in the second, leaving O’Toole and MacKay on the final ballot, where O’Toole won.

Results of the ballot had been expected Sunday night, Aug. 23, but were delayed into the early hours of Monday morning after problems opening the envelopes containing several thousand of the estimated 175,000 ballots sent in by mail.

“To the millions of Canadians that are still up, that I’m meeting tonight for the first time: Good morning. I’m Erin O’Toole, you’re going to be seeing and hearing a lot from me in the coming weeks and months,” O’Toole said in his victory speech.

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