The Liberals’ candidate for the London West byelection acknowleged Tuesday that he spoke to teachers on behalf of his NDP rival.
Since his candidacy was announced Friday, Ken Coran — who until Monday was president of the province’s secondary school teachers union — has been dogged by insinuations about where his loyalties lie.
NDP candidate Peggy Sattler tweeted last week that she believed she had Coran’s support.
“I don’t know what happened between then and now,” she told Metro on Tuesday. “That’s something Ken would have to address.”
Asked why she thought Coran was a supporter, she said he told her he was.
Sattler added: “He was working on behalf of my nomination. He was helping enlist teacher support for my nomination.”
When asked about those assertions Tuesday night, Coran said: “Did I say that Peggy Sattler would make a good candidate for the NDP? Yes I did.”
But, Coran insisted he was and is loyal to the Liberals.
Asked how he separates personality and politics, the former coach and player for the Western University Mustangs referred to his sporting pedigree.
“When you put on a jersey, you fight for the team, and the team I believe in is premier Wynne and the Liberal Party,” he said.
The comments came minutes after Coran officially accepted the party’s nomination for the byelection. Wynne is expected to drop the byelection writ Wednesday, scheduling it and four others across the province for Aug. 1
Along with Sattler, Coran will face Tory Ali Chahbar and the Green Party’s Gary Brown.
Speaking to party faithful Tuesday, Coran said he’s focused on jobs and on speaking up for the riding in the provincial parliament.
He and other speakers also emphasized his long membership of the Liberal Party and 40 years as a London resident.
With some humour, Coran said he is someone who speaks his mind, referring to his criticism of the party last year while campaigning for a better deal for teachers.
In his speech to supporters, Coran referred to “personal attacks,” saying: “If they want to do that, they can go ahead and do that but I’m focused on this campaign and I’m focused on creating opportunities for the families right here in London West.”
At a glance: Ken Coran
- Moved to London from Thunder Bay in 1972.
- Attended Western University.
- Studied immunology and later teaching.
- Teaching career included time at East Elgin secondary and West Elgin secondary schools.
- Became president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation in 2007.