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Ontario NDP candidate Sarah Jama has won a provincial byelection in Hamilton Centre: CP

Ontario NDP candidate Sarah Jama has won a provincial byelection in Hamilton Centre, the riding held for many years by former party leader Andrea Horwath.

Jama has secured 57 per cent of the vote with 16 out of 53 polls reporting and was widely expected to win, despite being put on the defensive over some of her activism.

She is the executive director and co-founder of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario and co-founded the Hamilton Encampment Support Network, among other community involvement, but she has faced criticism from Jewish organizations over her comments about Israel.

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Jama has said the criticism has centred around what she describes as standing up for Palestinian human rights, which shouldn’t be conflated with anti-Semitism.

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Horwath represented Hamilton Centre, as well as a predecessor riding, at the Ontario legislature since 2004 and consistently won with wide margins but stepped down as leader and resigned her seat last year after the party failed to win the provincial election.

Other candidates included Deirdre Pike for the Liberals, Hamilton Police Sgt. Peter Wiesner for the Progressive Conservatives and Lucia Iannantuono for the Green Party.

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