Thornhill may not turn out to be much of a race. Afterall Liberal Susan Kadis won the elections in 2006 and 2008 by margins of approximately 10,000 votes. Conservatives are going with former journalist Peter Kent who is likely the Tories’ highest profile candidate in the Toronto area.

A member of the Green Party for over three years, candidate Norbert Koehl won the nomination contest over the previous election’s Green Party candidate to earn his first spot on the ballot, while NDP candidate and president of the Thornhill NDP riding association, Simon Strlchik gets his second chance to represent Thornhill in Ottawa.In the past 2 elections the NDP received about 7% of the votes and the Green Party only 3%.

The riding has one of the highest average family incomes in the country at over $100,000 and close to 50% of the riding is Jewish. In the past Jewish voters in the riding have affected the outcome in elections. The 2007 Ontario election saw the Conservative go down to defeat over the issue of public funding for private religious schools. However in Thornhill Conservative Peter Shurman beat the incumbent, Mario Racco as a result of the school funding issue. So you will see lots of pandering to Jewish voters during the campaign.

With the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah three weeks away, greeting cards from the prime minister began arriving this week, bringing with them the same sort of questions that accompanied last year’s mailout. However, there was some displeasure from the community on the choice of the election date. It falls on the Jewish holiday, Sukkot. Meanwhile Susan Kadis had introduced Bill C-547 in the spring which if passed would create a Holocaust Monument in Ottawa. Around the same time Harper’s Jewish New Years cards were arriving at home in the riding, so were cards from Kadis asking whether residents supported Bill C-547.

Susan Kadis has been an elected representative in Thornhill since 1988 when she was elected as a school trustee. She moved on to Vaughan council in 1997 and Parliament in 2004. Peter Kent ran for the Conservatives in 2004 in the Toronto riding of St. Paul’s where he lost to Liberal Carolyn Bennett by 13,000 votes. There has been some grumbling about Kent’s residency. He had bought an historic home in Markham 2 years ago but he didn’t actually move in until the past August after some lengthy renovations.