Election 2008: Kennedy acknowledges Nash’s record in Parkdale High-Park

The victor in Toronto’s hotly contested Parkdale-High Park riding Tuesday night, says he won the riding not because the constituents voted out his competitor, but because they voted him in.

In a federal campaign wrought with cheap shots and cynicism, Gerard Kennedy, the former Ontario MPP, went up against well-liked NDP incumbent Peggy Nash. Kennedy took the seat with 20,715 votes, compared with Nash’s 17,330. He credited a proven track record.

“People know my record. They know what I’ve been able to do,” he said. “We’ve got to be optimistic, We’ve got to give people a chance to feel a sense of being able to move forward. ”

According to Kennedy’s campaign manager, Jason Easton, Peggy Nash’s own record representing the riding since 2006, proved the biggest obstacle for the Liberals in Parkdale-High Park.

In order to challenge Nash’s popularity, Easton said the Liberal campaign focused not in Nash’s weaknesses, but on Kennedy’s strengths, Easton pointed to Kennedy’s work running the Daily Bread Food Bank, serving the community for 10 years as MPP, and acting in a leadership role as provincial minister of education.

“Peggy Nash was a good MP… People generally liked her,” Easton said. “It was a challenge building the ballot question on ‘Why should we choose Gerard?’ We don’t vote people in, we vote people out.”