Matt Richter may not be Parry Sound-Muskoka’s next representative at Queen’s Park, but did make the best Green Party showing in the riding’s history.
At the time of writing, Richter lost to Conservative candidate Graydon Smith by a narrow 2,114 votes– 18,102 votes, or about 40.66 per cent of the vote to Smith’s 20,216, or 45.41 per cent.
“I’m feeling proud of what we accomplished, but at the same time, disappointed in the result,” says Richter. “Even at 40 per cent, it still wasn’t enough in our riding. But the voter turnout, the number of votes that we achieved is very positive, and shows that our riding is looking for better ways moving forward.”
Richter extended congratulations to Smith, noting that Smith has “quite a responsibility ahead of him.” He adds that he hopes Smith will work across party lines to address riding issues such as affordable housing, the climate crisis, and mental health.
He also congratulated Green leader Mike Schreiner, who was re-elected to his seat in Guelph, the first Green MPP to do so, with more than 54 per cent of the vote.
It was Richter’s fifth go at the seat, having run since the 2007 provincial election. This year’s Green portion is almost double Richter’s 2018’s result of 9,438 votes.
Richter speculates that more time and better voter turnout might have been able to close the gap.
“In terms of anything on our campaign, we ran an honest and fair campaign, and we mobilized people, got people excited. And we always say no to attack ads, false promises, and anything misleading,” says Richter. “I think the people of Parry Sound-Muskoka shared that they do not accept attack ads or misleading statements, and that came through with the convincing support they generated in our riding.”
Richter says his immediate plans are to return to teaching at the Trillium Lakelands District School Board for the remainder of the year, restart his healthy food business, and focus on family. However, he says he’s not discounting the possibility of another run.
“In terms of anything further into politics, that’s something that’s going to be open for conversation first with my family. Then we’d make the announcement,” says Richter. “But I do know that in our riding we’ve built a lot of capacity, and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the Green Party. And I’m sure there’s some people that are excited to maybe take up where we left off.”