by Steve Paikin Tuesday November 6, 2012

Kathleen Wynne is in, flanked above by former cabinet minister Monique Smith (left, in purple), current Willowdale MPP David Zimmer, and current labour minister Linda Jeffrey (right, with glasses).

My hunch is, there'll be plenty more caucus support for her candidacy announced in the days ahead.

Oldest trick in politics: rent a small room and fill it to the brim. About 350 supporters jammed the Japanese-Canadian Cultural Centre in Don Mills for the announcement.

Benoit Mercier was a Liberal candidate in Welland, and is former president of the Francophone Teachers' Association (AEFO). He's also served on the executive committee of the Ontario Teachers' Federation and served as a board member of the Canadian Teachers' Federation. His presence is clearly meant to signal Wynne's hopes for a thaw in relations with the teacher unions.

Wynne mentioned in her kick-off speech that she's been a housewife, mother, grandmother, cabinet minister, and partner in a same-sex relationship for 25 years.

Wynne proudly has planted her flag in the middle of the road, eschewing ideological politics.

"The Conservatives no more have the corner on fiscal responsibility than the NDP have the corner on compassion," she said.

Kathleen Wynne finishes her kick-off speech and the crowd goes wild ...