TORONTO, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Ontario's Liberal Party elected Kathleen Wynne on the third ballot to be the new premier of the province.
Wynne, a former provincial cabinet minister, prevailed against Sandra Pupatello at the party convention in Toronto and became the first openly homosexual premier-designate in Ontario history.
"I do not believe that the people of Ontario judge their leaders on the basis of race, sexual orientation, color or religion," Wynne told the crowd at Maple Leaf Gardens Saturday. "I don't believe they hold that prejudice in their hearts. They judge us on our merits."
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said Wynne was seen within political circles as someone who could forge cooperative relationships with opposition parties and with Ontario's teachers.
Wynne was elected after two key provincial parliament members decided to shift their support from Pupatello to her, the Toronto Star said. The move came after contender Eric Hoskins fell out of the running and announced to the crowd he was throwing his support to Wynne.
It was not immediately known when Wynne would be sworn in as premier.