Field continues to grow
More candidates testing the waters for Tories in Port de Grave district
The field continues to grow in the race to represent the Progressive Conservatives in the disrict of Port de Grave in this fall’s provincial general election, with at least four people now coming forward to say they will seek the nomination. The latest is former South River mayor Dale Decker. “I’m working hard, putting a team together,” Decker told The Compass last week.
Three others — Bay Roberts Mayor Glenn Littlejohn, Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore, and Junior Taylor, chair of the Makinsons Local Service District — have previously stated they will enter the race.
And there’s speculation that a fifth candidate may be stepping forward, though this couldnot be confirmed last week.
“It looks as though we’ll have a field the likes of which hasn’t been seen for over a quarter of a century,” said Robert Lundrigan, president of the Port de Grave PC district association.
Nominations are expected to be called in the coming days, and the party plans to have a full slate of candidates in place by early summer for the Oct. 11 election.
Lundrigan said the last time the PCs had a true nomination battle in the district was in 2001, when Ed Neil defeated Doug Moores for the right to represent the party. Neil came within 90 votes of the eventual winner and current Liberal MHA, Roland Butler, who is not seeking re-election.
Shearstown resident Leanne Hussey won the Liberal nomination last week in a two-way battle against Ross Petten of Port de Grave.
Lundrigan said there’s a groundswell of enthusiasm among PCs in the district, with more than 50 people turning out for the PC association’s annual general meeting in Spaniard’s Bay on June 15.
Decker, meanwhile, expressed confidence that he’s the right person to represent the party.
“I’m very dedicated. I talk and listen to people,” he said. “I’m a fighter and I stand up for people.”
Decker listed off a variety of issues he sees as priorities, including job creation, investments in public infrastructure, suitable access to education and health care, affordable housing, advocating for those with special needs, and an emphasis on young people.
He has a special interest in the environment and pursuing opportunities that promote so-called “green” initiatives, and believes the province has to do more to prepare for a future without vast amounts of oil revenues.