Chatham-Kent—Leamington remains Conservative

Dave Epp shakes hands with former Chatham-Kent-Leamington MP Dave Van Kesteren during the federal election on October 21, 2019. (Photo by Allanah Wills)

Chatham-Kent—Leamington is staying blue, but this time with a new face representing the riding in Parliament.

Conservative Dave Epp was elected as the new MP for the Chatham-Kent—Leamington riding Monday night.

Preliminary results from Elections Canada with 215 out of 260 polls show Epp with 46.9 per cent of the vote. Liberal Katie Omstead came in second with 31 per cent of the votes, NDP Tony Walsh came in with 15.3 per cent, Green Party candidate Mark Vercouteren snagged 4.3 per cent and People’s Party John Balagtas received two per cent.

While addressing his supporters during a victory rally in Blenheim Monday night Epp said he was still overwhelmed and humbled with all the support but looking forward to the responsibility of representing Chatham-Kent—Leamington.

“Looking at the great campaign we had, the great volunteers we had and we’re going to get to work. We’re going to get to work right away starting [Tuesday] morning. We’ll take some time tonight to celebrate, to reflect but then [Tuesday] morning we get started,” said Epp. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get to serve.”

Epp will be taking over for Conservative Dave Van Kesteren, who served four terms as MP for Chatham-Kent—Leamington (previously known as Chatham-Kent—Essex.) Epp said he knows he has big shoes to fill but has been working with Van Kestern over the last few weeks of the campaign to learn first hand what it takes to represent the riding.

“He is available to me, he has shared with me the joy of representing these residents and he’s shared with me some of the challenges. I’m very fortunate to have that experience and I think that helped me as well in this campaign,” Epp said.

A third-generation farmer, Epp campaigned heavily on bringing a rural touch to Ottawa if elected.  After winning his seat Epp said his goal is to bring attention to some of the unique challenges that the area faces.

“I’m committed to listen and learn. I know of some of the issues but I don’t know everything so I want to get out there and… listen to the residents,” said Epp. “My goal is to lead and follow what the residents here need for good representation and I can hopefully have an opportunity to lead in Ottawa and take those concerns forward.”

You can watch Epp’s full victory by clicking here. 

-With files from Natalia Vega