The timing couldn't be better for Conservative member Eric Melillo, who only recently completed his undergraduate degree in economics, and he says the key to victory was simple.

"Hard work. We put it all out there. We had a great team. We've been working hard, really, since February with the nomination process spreading our message and ensuring that people know I'm going to put our constituents first and get ready to go to work for real tomorrow morning," he said.

Melillo steps into the limelight after an apprenticeship of working in constituency offices and running provincial cabinet minister Greg Rickford's campaign last spring. He will also face a challenge of bringing together a fragmented riding, with the three parties running almost even throughout the evening.

Economics certainly played a big part in the fall campaign for Melillo. Born and raised in Kenora, Melillo is keenly aware of the shadows from the last recession that loom again, as the local sawmill sits idle, again. During his victory speech last night, the new MP said the rising cost of living continues to be an important issue.

"One of the biggest ones I've heard over and over in our riding is affordability. So many issues touch on it. It really is something that I think encompasses a lot of the broader issues we see here. That's definitely one of the biggest ones," he said.

Concerns about increases in utilities and the price of housing led to the provincial Tory victory last spring, and Melillo will certainly be working closely with his mentor, as they work on projects at the federal and provincial level moving forward.

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Election 2019