Kennedy denies Tory application filed late

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Former Brandon-Souris Conservative hopeful Chris Kennedy says if he could do it all over again, he’d fly to Ottawa to submit his nomination application and the accompanying $1,000 cheque in person.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/09/2013 (3294 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Former Brandon-Souris Conservative hopeful Chris Kennedy says if he could do it all over again, he’d fly to Ottawa to submit his nomination application and the accompanying $1,000 cheque in person.

Kennedy says he has now accepted the fact that he’s not the Conservative candidate, and simply wants to move on. He sat down with the Brandon Sun on Wednesday to comment on the controversy surrounding his nomination rejection one final time.

“To be honest, I felt that I was a young voice that hopefully could bring some end to the stigma of politics always being bad,” Kennedy said. “It’s getting to the point now where we all need to move on. I can’t talk for the Conservative Party of Canada. I can’t talk for anybody else, but for myself and my family, if I don’t bring some closure to this, it’s going to drag on … and to be honest there’s just no win in that for me or my family.”

He says media reports claiming his nomination application was late are not true.

“At this point, whether I agree or disagree with comments made by unknown sources, we’re past that point,” he said, referring to an article that appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on Tuesday.

Kennedy’s nomination paperwork, including the $1,000 cheque, was due in Ottawa at 5 p.m. Brandon time on Sept. 11. The Free Press article states that a Purolator tracking record “shows the paperwork wasn’t mailed until 4 p.m., an hour before the documents were due in Ottawa. The paperwork didn’t arrive until nearly 1 p.m. the following day” and an anonymous source said the cheque was missing.

The paperwork that was mailed at 4 p.m. that day was actually a package of 26 last-minute memberships, according to Kennedy.

“A last package of (memberships) that I received that day from supporters that I felt I had to send,” Kennedy said. “And whether they accepted them or not, that’s up to them.”

Kennedy said he sent a total of five packages to Ottawa throughout the nomination race.

The package containing his 50-page application, including the $1,000 deposit cheque, was sent by courier on Tuesday — the day before the Sept. 11 deadline.

He was told by the party later that same week that he was a disqualified candidate because he didn’t include the cheque — not that his nomination papers were late.

“From Day 1 … that was not the issue I was told,” he said. “I’ve read about it, and to be honest … the waters are very muddy by me learning more … about my own nomination race than I’ve ever heard through an article.”

Kennedy believed that offering any of the four remaining tracking numbers to the Sun would only prolong the controversy.

“I’ve accepted I’m not the Conservative candidate and at some point this has to end and a byelection has to begin,” he said. “People of Brandon-Souris have to voice their opinion through the ballot box and not through controversy about a nomination race.”

Kennedy said he enjoyed every minute of the nomination race, until the end. He said he was shocked and disappointed by what transpired not only for himself, but for all of his family, friends and supporters.

“There have been a lot of disappointed and hurt people through all of this and you always think back, is there any way I could’ve made sure that didn’t happen? And I look myself in the mirror and say, ‘I don’t think there is another way that I could have tried to do this,’” he said.

Kennedy won’t run as an independent candidate in this byelection, and stressed he has “no ill feelings” toward acclaimed Tory candidate Larry Maguire, the MLA for Arthur-Virden.

As for what’s next for Kennedy, he says he will be moving on from politics and pursuing a professional career. While he says politics will be on the “side burner” of his life for now, he says he’s not ruling it out down the road.

“It’s over for me. Larry’s the candidate and I can’t change any of this anymore, so I’ll take my path and change what I can,” he said.

» jaustin@brandonsun.com

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