Festeryga is the new Liberal candidate in CKL

Audrey Festeryga, Liberal candidate in Chatham-Kent-Leamington. Photo courtesy Audrey Festeryga 4 Essex/Facebook.

The Ontario Liberals have their candidate in Chatham-Kent-Leamington, and it’s a familiar name.

The Liberal Party and Elections Ontario have confirmed that Audrey Festeryga will run in the riding for the upcoming provincial election. Festeryga’s name appears on both websites, indicating that her candidacy was accepted before Thursday afternoon’s deadline.

Festeryga will replace Alec Mazurek on the Chatham-Kent-Leamington ballot. Mazurek was dropped as the Liberal candidate after the Ontario NDP uncovered eight-year-old Facebook posts in which he used homophobic and misogynistic language. Mazurek has apologized for the posts and will not remain on the ballot as an independent.

The new candidate is not a newcomer to regional politics. Festeryga ran three times as the federal Liberal hopeful in the riding of Essex, each time finishing third. She lost to Tracey Ramsey of the NDP in 2015, and to the Tories’ Chris Lewis in 2019 and 2021.

Festeryga’s daughter, Kate, was the Liberal candidate in the 2018 provincial election, running in Essex. She finished third to Taras Natyshak of the NDP.

Also running in Chatham-Kent-Leamington is incumbent Rick Nicholls of the Ontario Party, Trevor Jones of the Progressive Conservatives, Brock McGregor of the NDP, Jennifer Surerus of the Ontario Green Party, and Rhonda Jubenville of the New Blue Party.

The election is June 2.