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MPP Joel Harden, Catherine McKenney eyeing possible showdown for Ottawa federal seat

Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden and former Ottawa city councillor Catherine McKenney might be vying for the same seat in the next federal election.

MPP Joel Harden confirmed to CTV News on Saturday that he had filed the paperwork necessary to run for the nomination of the NDP in the federal seat of Ottawa-Centre, currently held by Liberal MP Yasir Naqvi.

Former Ottawa councillor Catherine McKenney told CFRA Live that while they had not made anything official yet, they were considering running for the nomination as well.

“I’ve not made any decisions about my political future, but I’m also considering running for the nomination for the federal seat as well. I’m kind of in the talking to friends and family phase of it,” McKenney said.

Harden has been the MPP for the provincial seat of Ottawa-Centre since 2018. He won re-elected in 2022 with 54.4 per cent of the vote, defeating Liberal Katie Gibbs and Progressive Conservative Scott Healy.

Ottawa Centre NDP MPP Joel Harden is seen in this 2018 photo. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)McKenney is trans/non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. They were first elected as a councillor for Somerset ward in 2014, winning re-election in 2018.

They also ran for mayor of Ottawa in 2022 when Mark Sutcliffe was elected. 

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