"New Democrats, I want to move here today that the decision of voters is unanimous, and I want to welcome to the microphone the next leader of our party and the next premier of Saskatchewan, Ryan Meili", Wotherspoon said following the announcement.
Saskatchewan's NDP has chosen Ryan Meili to be its new leader, who the party hopes will enable it to topple a weakened government that's held power for more than a decade.
Hundreds of party members gathered at the Delta Hotel in Regina for the party's leadership convention.
"I couldn't agree more", he said.
"I can't wait to see what we can achieve together".
Several convention attendees told Global News that they were concerned a Meili-led NDP would be less appealing to the broader Saskatchewan electorate. "I think we'll be elected by putting forth a vision that really excites people".
But while Wotherspoon pointed to his years of experience and caucus support, Meili emphasized that the party had not gotten far with the approach of playing it safe.
The new leader said he would accept union donations, and consider corporate donations, in the next provincial election.
As for Wotherspoon, the longtime MLA is ready to get back to work with the rest of the opposition. "It's critical of course that we listen and engage our entire province and those that aren't members as well and those that haven't voted for us in the past".
NDP MLA Ryan Meili won his seat in a byelection a year ago, and was supported by Trent Wotherspoon, who was the NDP interim leader at the time.
Sarauer's speech moments before Meili was named leader was evidence of how loved she is by the NDP faithful; it clearly energized the room.
Although heavily courted to run for the permanent job of leader, Sarauer was resolutely not interested, at least for now. "It's been very nice", she said, adding she is "very exited about the leader we have". Outside of politics, Meili is a family physician. The party says 81 per cent of the 13,414 eligible members voted though online and mail-in ballots.
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