03/17/2014 04:15 EDT | Updated 03/17/2014 06:59 EDT

Zach Paikin Won't Pursue Liberal Nomination, Says 'Justin Broke His Promise'


Zach Paikin says he won't run for a Liberal nomination after what he sees as a broken promise from Grit leader Justin Trudeau.

Paikin, a HuffPost contributor and the son of TVO host Steve Paikin, was hoping to carry the party banner in the new riding of Hamilton-West-Ancaster-Dundas in 2015.

But he hadn't submitted his nomination papers.

Paikin announced on social media Monday that he is no longer interested in running in light of the drama surrounding the upcoming but unannounced byelection in Trinity-Spadina.

Trudeau, who vowed to hold open nominations in every riding, has blocked the candidacy of Christine Innes, the wife of former Liberal MP Tony Ianno.

Ianno had been accused of bullying and intimidating party members in an attempt to lure supporters away from Chrystia Freeland, the newly elected Grit MP in Toronto Centre.

The Liberal Party had informed Innes she could not run in the Trinity-Spadina byelection unless she signed an agreement pledging to run in the new riding of Spadina-Fort York in the 2015 federal election, the CBC reported.

Spadina-Fort York is one of three new ridings that will replace Trinity-Spadina and Toronto Centre in the next federal race due to electoral redistribution. Another new riding, University-Rosedale, was rumoured to be Innes' top pick for 2015 but CBC reports the Liberals want to set aside that riding for Freeland, one of Trudeau's star recruits.

Innes wouldn't agree to run in Spadina-Fort York next year, and the Liberals did not green-light her run for the byelection nomination.

The Liberals' Ontario campaign co-chair David MacNaughton told The Canadian Press the move was meant to send a message that the kind of infighting prevalent in the party in the 1990s won't be tolerated.

"We're not going to go back to the days of the Hatfields and McCoys in the Liberal party," he said.

Paikin's father also wrote a blog post Friday on how nomination battles between sitting Ontario Liberal MPPs in advance of the 1999 provincial produced "bad feelings and melodrama."

Paikin, who ran in 2012 for national policy chair of the Liberal party at the age of 20, explained in a Facebook post Monday that he is quitting the race in protest.

"I cannot, in good conscience, campaign to be a part of a team of candidates if others seeking to join that team are prevented from doing so if their ideas or ambitions run contrary to the party leader's interest," he wrote.

Liberal spokeswoman Andrée-Lyne Hallé told HuffPost in an email Monday that Trudeau has committed to holding open nominations in all 338 ridings across the country, meaning local community members and not the leader will choose candidates.

"This does not, however, mean that everyone is entitled to be a Liberal candidate, regardless of what they do or how they or their campaign teams behave, especially with volunteers," she said.

"In the case of Zach Paikin, the decision to file his papers to run to be a contestant in a nomination is ultimately his to make."

A senior Liberal source told HuffPost that Paikin is quitting before he got in the race. That source suggested Paikin would not have won the nomination anyway.

With files from The Canadian Press

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