Mike Harris to replace Michael Harris in Kitchener-Conestoga

Citizens in Kitchener-Conestoga appear to be happy with a familiar name, even if that means voting for an entirely different person.

Mike Harris Jr., the son of former premier Mike Harris, was elected in that riding for the Progressive Conservatives.

Once all 50 polls were reporting, it was revealed that Harris had landed 39.6 per cent of the vote.

Behind him were Kelly Dick of the NDP (38 per cent) and Joe Gowing of the Liberals (14.1 per cent), followed by Bob Jonkman of the Greens (6.5 per cent), Daniel Benoy of the Libertarians (1.3 per cent) and Dan Holt of the Consensus Ontario Party (0.5 per cent).

“Under Premier Doug Ford and a majority PC government, we will bring jobs, prosperity and integrity back to Ontario,” he told supporters.

“It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.”

Dick, who finished second, said that she had heard from many Kitchener-Conestoga residents interested in political affairs during the campaign, and hoped Harris would discuss major issues with them as their MPP.

“People want to talk about the issues. He needs to be there for the community, and I’m sure he will be,” she said.

Harris replaces incumbent MPP Michael Harris, who was elected twice as a PC but kicked out of the party’s caucus in April. Party officials blamed the ouster on a flirtatious series of text messages between him and a party intern in 2013.

Mike Harris Jr. was then appointed as the candidate in Kitchener-Conestoga, despite other candidates having signaled an interest in seeking the nomination.

Michael Harris received 36.39 per cent of the vote in Kitchener-Conestoga in 2014, with the Liberal candidate picking up 33.3 per cent and the NDP challenger garnering 21.2 per cent.