The statement further said she had won both the popular vote and the majority of ridings, and that fewer than 150 points separated her from Ford in the final tally. "That is why our team took the last twenty-four hours to review the results of an election that was incredibly close. Certainly I expected us to have a result while we were at the convention (late Saturday afternoon, as originally expected)", Romano said Sunday.
"I have a great deal of respect for her, she's a great campaigner, great debater and I never underestimate her, but she's never debated Doug Ford before and I can't wait".
Elliott's statement followed a meeting with Ford that appeared to put to rest any notion that she would continue a challenge to his win after a chaotic leadership convention on Saturday.
But Ford had brushed off her allegations, saying he was working on restoring unity within the party as it works to topple Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne's government in a spring general election.
"Doug Ford and I disagree on a lot of things, that's a reality, that's not news to anyone".
"As my dad always said, in business, you aren't getting sales in the office".
"Over the next couple of months, the people of Ontario will have an opportunity to understand and get to know Doug Ford better", Hillier said. "In a race this close, largely determined by geography, someone needs to stand up for these members", Elliott said in her earlier statement.
However, Romano said Ford had a strong following and believes he will be an effective leader.
Even as the rousing cheers were being sent up, Ford was already being described by the left-leaning Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper as a former Toronto city councillor and brother of late mayor Rob Ford, whose career was derailed by a crack-smoking scandal.
Former Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch wouldn't have voted for Doug Ford in the PC leadership race, but like many others, Murdoch never got his online ballot. I think he'll do alright, " says Murdoch who notes he would have cast his vote for Christine Elliott.
"The leadership style is very alpha and alpha male, and it remains to be seen how that will go over", he said, noting there is no reason to expect anything different now that Ford is at the helm.
"But no matter what happens, we must all be ready to unite behind our new leader and defeat Kathleen Wynne".
Like it or not, Doug Ford is on track to become Ontario's next premier.
"I appreciate her (Elliott) thoughts". Brown backed out of the race about 10 days later, saying it was too hard to work at clearing his name and running a leadership campaign at the same time.
Kenora Progressive Conservative riding association candidate for MPP Greg Rickford acknowledged the election of a new leader over the weekend wasn't the out come that he and others in the party anticipated. "She'll play an instrumental role and we want to make sure together we are going to defeat Kathleen Wynne and bring prosperity back to the province".
"I'm going down to the border and putting this big neon sign up and saying "Ontario is open for business" and I really look forward to that", Ford said. The Tories haven't held power since Wynne's predecessor Dalton McGuinty defeated former Premier Ernie Eves in 2003.
"Regardless of who took the helm, the bottom line is we have to stop settling for bad or worse in this province", she said.
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