February 17, 2015 2:18 pm

Greg Selinger leads race for Manitoba NDP leadership

Greg Selinger has the most delegate support in the race for the NDP leadership.

Randall Paull / Global News

WINNIPEG – Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger has surpassed his two rivals in the fight for delegate support prior to next month’s NDP leadership vote.

Selinger captured all 117 delegates during a party meeting in Winnipeg’s Maples constituency on the weekend, giving him 258 so far.

He used the social media site Twitter on Monday to send a note saying the win was a “great birthday present.”

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READ MORE: Manitoba leadership candidates claim same supporters

Former cabinet minister Theresa Oswald, who did not compete in The Maples, is second with 208 delegates.

Steve Ashton, the third contender, has 177 but stresses there’s still a long way to go before the leadership election on March 8 at a convention in Winnipeg.

He’s expected to grab most of the northern constituencies, which carry a large number of delegates who will use mail-in ballots to vote.

READ MORE: Selinger, Oswald and Ashton face off during two-hour debate

Oswald has announced that Michael Balagus, a longtime NDP strategist and chief of staff for former premier Gary Doer, will help run her 2016 election campaign if she wins.

Balagus ran the NDP campaign in 2011 when Selinger was re-elected with a record number of seats in the legislature.

The winner of the leadership race will lead the NDP at the next provincial election in April 2016.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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