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UPDATE: Victoria Green candidate steps aside after win by coin toss

After a coin toss decided the Green Party candidacy for Victoria, the winner has stepped aside and thrown his support behind the party's preferred choice.

Trevor Moat, an engineering consultant and board member of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association, was declared the winner against fellow nominee Donald Galloway at the Metro Theatre last Saturday.

A third nominee, Mark Loria, dropped out of the race before the nomination meeting for personal reasons.

Of the 40 votes cast, both Galloway and Moat received an equal 20 votes.

It wasn't until after Moat was declared the winner that the pair learned the tie had been broken by a coin toss.

"The rules did say if there's a tie, it will be decided by a coin toss, so that was followed," said Jared Giesbrecht, Green Party Victoria constituency president.

Once Moat discovered he had failed to obtain a majority of support, he decided to step aside for the heavily endorsed Galloway.

"I felt that ... my efforts would best be spent in support of the campaign infrastructure that Donald already has in place," Moat said.

"I've always maintained that my purpose was to see a Green MP elected in Victoria. This, I feel, is our best chance this time around."

Galloway praised Moat's integrity in making a "selfless" decision, and said his focus will now turn to convincing an electorate that two Green MPs can change the dynamics on Parliament Hill.

"He always said he wanted the person who is the better candidate to go through," Galloway said.

"Now here I am, dealing with a man of absolute honesty and integrity who actually meant it."

Galloway said Moat will play an integral role in his election campaign, a task he believes is within reach.

"It will make such a difference to our political system to have two Greens in Parliament, to have a partner for Elizabeth May. That is by far the best outcome of the election," Galloway said.

Stephane Vigneault, communications co-ordinator for the Green Party of Canada, called the situation "unusual" and said Galloway's nomination will take effect immediately.

Galloway, a University of Victoria law professor, specializes in immigration law, refugee law and citizenship law. He is a former member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and is the Green Party shadow cabinet critic on immigration and citizenship.

A federal byelection was called in Victoria after Denise Savoie stepped down for health reasons Aug. 31.

The byelection date has not yet been set by the federal government, but is expected to happen before December.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Correction: A previous version of this article stated Mark Loria was on the Green Party's nomination ballot.

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