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Feature Article - December 8, 2005

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Feature Article

December 8, 2005

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Young Geoff Turner to carry Liberal Banner in LFL&A

by Jeff Green

At a lengthy nomination meeting in Sharbot Lake on Saturday afternoon, Perth’s Geoff Turner won the Liberal nomination for the Federal riding of Lanark, Frontenac Lennox and Addington, defeating one other candidate, Irene Backholm.

After commencing at one o’clock with speeches from the candidates, voting took place throughout the afternoon.

As the afternoon wore on and a steady stream of people wearing Geoff Turner buttons arrived at the North Frontenac Telephone Company, it became clear that the membership drive Mr. Turner had undertaken over the past few months was paying off.


“Since the summer I have signed up over 200 members,” Turner offered. “Many of them are former members of the association who, for one reason or another, haven’t gotten around to renewing their memberships in the past couple of years.”

Geoff Turner submitted the new memberships to the riding association just days before the nomination meeting, swelling the local association to around 500 members.

Irene Backholm, who seemed unaware that Geoff Turner was undertaking a membership drive, signed up around 50 new members herself.

When it was announced that Geoff Turner had indeed received the support of the majority of voters, Irene Backholm threw her support behind Turner.

Geoff Turner, who is not yet 25, attended high school at Perth Collegiate and graduated from Wilfred Laurier University with a Political Science Degree in 2004. He spent a year travelling the world after that, spending most of that time in Southeast Asia.

“When I returned to Canada last spring I moved to Ottawa because of my interest in federal politics. This summer I saw the opportunity to seek the nomination in a riding that I am familiar with, since I am from Perth, and being young I have been able to devote myself full time to getting the nomination and carrying on the campaign.”

Turner will have quite a challenge if he hopes to overcome Scott Reid. Reid received a shade under 50% of the votes in the election of 2004, beating Hastings, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Liberal incumbent Larry McCormick by over 10,000 votes in the newly created Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington riding.

“In order for us to defeat Scott Reid, and I think we are the only credible opposition to the Conservatives in this riding, we need to attract people. Hopefully, voters will see that with a new, young face, and an energetic campaign, we can challenge Scott Reid on his record.”

Turner was not prepared to comment on policy issues this week.

“It is premature for me to talk about policy, but I have heard from a lot of supporters and other people I’ve met on the street that Scott Reid has been sort of invisible since the last election. If we do a good job on outreach we can challenge Scott Reid.”

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