Field con­tin­ues to grow

More can­di­dates test­ing the waters for Tories in Port de Grave district

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY TERRY ROBERTS

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.

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