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Harriston-born man seeking PC nomination for Perth-Wellington

Current MPP Randy Pettapiece previously announced he will not be seeking re-election in 2022
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Harriston born Matthew Rae has put himself forward as a potential candidate for the PCs in Perth-Wellington.

PERTH-WELLINGTON – Shortly after the current Perth-Wellington MPP announced he is not seeking re-election in 2022, someone else has come forward to perhaps fill those shoes. 

Matthew Rae, a 31-year-old raised in the Harriston-area, announced Friday he is seeking the Progressive-Conservative (PC) nomination for Perth-Wellington. 

This came a day after decade-long MPP Randy Pettapiece declared he will not be seeking a fourth-term in the riding, citing his age and desire to spend more time with his family. 

In a phone interview, Rae said he’s been involved with the PC’s and federal Conservatives for many years, first becoming a party member 12 years ago. 

Rae managed Pettapiece’s 2018 campaign and helped federal MP John Nater in all of his campaigns so far. He was also the riding association president until he decided to throw his hat into the ring. 

“Basically, my pitch to the PC members is, I have worked with volunteers on the front line and understand how to run and win elections in Perth-Wellington,” Rae said, adding managing Pettapiece’s campaign in particular was a great learning experience.

He stressed it will continue to take a lot of work to come back from COVID and is ready on day one to listen to the concerns of the constituents should he be chosen as the PC candidate. 

Although he now lives in Mitchell, Rae said he thinks having strong ties to Wellington County would be beneficial as a candidate. 

He explained he grew up on a dairy farm outside of Harriston and is the third generation in his family to graduate from Norwell District Secondary School.

“I think Wellington County needs a greater voice within the riding and representation at Queen’s Park,” Rae said. 

Rae went to U of G, did his master’s abroad in Austria and has lived in various cities but he said he believes rural Ontario is one of the best places to raise a family and succeed in the world. 

To strengthen this, he said he sees attracting businesses to the area so there is less commuting and grows the tax base as important. He also wishes to address housing affordability, a problem that is beginning to creep into the riding. 

“As a young person who just in the last few years purchased a home, I actually wouldn’t be able to afford the current home I’m in if it was on the market today,” Rae said. 

Rae was unsure if anyone else from the party has put themselves forward as a potential candidate and the PC’s director of communications did not disclose this information either. 

“We don’t comment on internal party processes and party related matters,” Stephanie Bellotto said via email, which included both other potential nominees and a date for the selection process.

Rae said any party members are welcome to put themselves forward and if someone does he looks forward to earning the votes of other members.

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