Pauline Glover defended her bid to replace Brian Pallister as the leader of the Manitoba Progressive Conservative party and claimed voter fraud was a factor in her losing her race last weekend.
During an interview with Winnipeg radio station 680 CJOB, the former Manitoba deputy premier said she has evidence that Progressive Conservative Party members who voted in the leadership convention at a Winnipeg hotel were not eligible.
“Let me tell you about my campaign. My supporters and volunteers did something extraordinary in order to get the word out that we were coming,” she said. “They persuaded many people to leave their sickbeds and be on the convention floor where they were making their choices.”
That allegation was disputed by the party’s executive director Mike Donlon.
“We did not have any allegations of that being the case,” he said. “We had nothing but good attendance at the convention and we had nothing but good support from candidates.”
Among those campaigning for the leadership was Ross Shepherd, a supporter of former North Dakota governor John Hoeven. Shepherd and Peter Braid, a member of the Manitoba legislature, said they were on the ballot, as were some of Glover’s supporters. Shepherd, who claimed to have been offered a vote to make way for Glover, told the Winnipeg Free Press there was no wrongdoing.
“The people who voted for me were not pawns. They gave their honest votes and they got nothing in return,” he said.
Glover trailed in the race Saturday, claiming only 282 votes after 25 of the required 487 ballots were tallied. She won’t have to face the leadership race again until 2024.
Paul Masson and Alan Hallman were declared the winners with 1,154 and 1,094 votes respectively.
Christopher Pagadillo, also a former deputy premier who was running for the leadership, was close behind with 892 votes. Pagadillo’s running mate is Bill Blaikie, who ran against Margaret Brooks for the leadership in 2001 and 2003.
Donlon said he would abide by the results.
Pamela Redmond and Jayson Lancer were also competing for the leadership, and the pair said the convention was marred by allegations of voter fraud and tampering. Redmond raised several issues with the party during the campaign, including stating that nine people were banned from voting, although Donlon said only three were.
Pagadillo said Gilmore was illegally barred from the leadership race and has urged Elections Manitoba to investigate.
Glover said Pagadillo claimed non-members who voted were “amassing votes for purposes that are not the right way to vote.”
“Pauline made a name for herself by the integrity that she has lived her life with and now we as a party have to look into that again and come to the truth and we as a party need to know that the rules have been adhered to,” she said.
Some of Glover’s support also came from Peter Stefanik, a former New Hampshire congressman, who sat on the party’s interim executive. Stefanik’s former chief of staff, Melissa Tarpey, was a member of Glover’s campaign team, but Leitte Paul is in charge of the campaign.
Donlon said when it comes to debate on policy, Pearson and Tarpey are not the only ones vying for the leadership.
“The rules are pretty clear and I’ve been a member of every Progressive Conservative for 14 years so I know what the rules are and who to vote for and who to cast a ballot for,” he said.
“We are an organization that’s been around for many years. It’s like any party, we’re going to have some people on both sides of the floor and we’re going to have a bit of debate but that’s how it’s been and this is how it will be.”
The Post’s Garance Burke contributed to this report.