Ex-NDP Leader Andrea Horwath a fixture of Ontario politics for over a decade

For Andrea Horvath the fourth time was not the charm.

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Hamilton, who led Ontario’s New Democratic Party for 13 years, began the campaign hoping to form a government, and ended it on Thursday night despite securing official opposition status for a second straight term.

“It is time for me to pass the torch, pass the stick, hand it over to the leadership of the NDP. It makes me sad, but it makes me happy because our team is so strong right now,” she told supporters in an emotional speech.

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Horvath, 59, served three terms as Hamilton city councilor in 1997. He jumped to the Ontario legislature in a by-election in 2004. She has been the leader of the party through four general elections since 2009.

Some observers expected Horvath to step down if his party lost a third election, but in 2018, the NDP rose to official opposition status, while the Liberals were reduced to single-digit seats.

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This time it was written on the wall, and…

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