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QuickSketches of the major party leaders in Ontario

QuickSketches of the major party leaders in Ontario Ontario leaders (from left) NDP Andrea Horwath, Liberal Kathleen Wynne and Progressive Conservative Tim Hudak are pictured in recent photos. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontarians headed to the polls in a provincial election Thursday. Following are sketches of the major party leaders:

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne

Age: 61 (Born May 21, 1953.)

Education: Studied at Queen's University, the University of Toronto, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She also completed mediation training at Harvard University.

Professional career: President of the Toronto Institute of Human Relations. Elected public school trustee in Toronto in 2000.

Political career: First elected as MPP for Don Valley West in October 2003; minister of education from 2006 to 2010; minister of transportation from 2010 to 2011; minister of municipal affairs and housing and minister of aboriginal affairs 2011; premier and minister of agriculture and food on Feb. 11, 2013.

Personal: Lives with her partner Jane Rounthwaite. Has three adult children from a previous marriage: Chris, Jessie and Maggie, and three grandchildren, Olivia, Claire and Hugh.

Quote: "If there's anything that's difficult about political life, it's that I don't have the opportunity to spend as much time with them. There's lots of life outside of politics, but you know, politics touches every part of that life as well."

———

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.

Age: 46 (Nov. 1, 1967)

Personal: Born in Fort Erie, Ont., to Patrick (Pat) Hudak, a Catholic high school principal, and his wife Anne Marie, a teacher and town councillor. His younger sister, Patricia, is also a teacher. He's been married since 2002 to Deb Hutton, former senior adviser to Tory premier Mike Harris. They have two daughters: Miller Olive Hudak, 6, and Maitland Hutton Hudak, six weeks. The family divides its time between Toronto and Wellandport.

Education: Hudak has a bachelor of economics from the University of Western Ontario (1990) and a Masters of Arts in Economics from the University of Washington (1993).

Early career: Worked as a border inspector, teaching assistant, assistant manager at Walmart and manager of the Fort Erie Festivals before catching the political bug.

Politics: First elected to the legislature in the Conservative sweep of 1995, representing the now-defunct riding of Niagara South. Served in cabinet as minister of northern development and mines, then culture, tourism and recreation and finally consumer and business services. Currently represents riding of Niagara West-Glanbrook. Elected party leader in June 2009.

Quote: "When you believe in something, when you know in your gut that it's the right thing to do, you've thought long and hard about it, it comes easy. I'm having the time of my life in politics ... I look forward to every day."

———

New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath

Age: 51 (Born Oct. 24, 1962)

Personal: Born in Hamilton, Ont., to Andrew Horwath, an auto worker at the Ford plant in Oakville, and his wife Diane. She separated from her partner of 25 years in 2010 and lives with her son Julian, 21.

Education: Horwath has a bachelor of arts in labour studies from McMaster University in Hamilton.

Early career: Worked as a labour activist and community organizer for a Hamilton legal clinic before entering political life.

Politics: Elected to her first of three terms as a Hamilton city councillor in 1997. First elected to the legislature in a byelection in May 2004, taking Hamilton Centre from the Liberals. Elected NDP leader in March 2009.

Quote: "I listen to Ontarians, I spend time connecting with them, getting a sense of what their needs are. I respect them and my ideas come from them and I would really be honoured to be able to implement those ideas and make life better."

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