Former Conservative MP Costas Menegakis will return to life outside of Parliament after Monday night’s federal election loss.
The race in the riding of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill came down to the wire with Liberal Leona Alleslev coming out ahead with 24,104 votes, just 1,061 more than Menegakis with 23,043 votes.
Menegakis was caught in the Liberal tide that swept the country.
“All of us, together, today — we are not Conservatives, and Liberals, NDPs, and Greens — we are all Canadians,” the former MP told a gathering of more than 50 supporters at Aw Shucks Seafood Bar & Bistro in Aurora just after 11 p.m. on Oct. 19.
“It certainly has been a long haul,” Menegakis said of the campaign that lasted 78 days. “In elections, things can happen. It appears that Canadians have chosen a different direction.”
Derrick Murray, the Menegakis campaign chair, said he was “shocked” by the Liberal sweep of the area.
“York Region will suffer because of this,” Murray said.
“Canadian people today have a hard enough time getting jobs, keeping jobs, buying homes, and this is not going to help, ” he added in reference to the Liberal majority.
York Region’s ridings have historically elected Conservative candidates in both provincial and federal elections.
Murray has been involved in many election campaigns in the surrounding regions, including volunteering for former Newmarket-Aurora Conservative MP, Lois Brown, who lost her seat to Liberal Kyle Peterson Monday night.
Menegakis, former MP for the Richmond Hill riding, was elected in the 2011 federal election representing the Conservative party. He was running to secure a second term as MP, but for the new riding, which now encompasses Oak Ridges and the southern part of Aurora.
NDP contender Brenda Power finished with 2,908 votes, followed by Green Party candidate Randi Ramdeen with 654 and Kyle Bowles of the Animal Alliance with 241 votes.