Can­di­dates in place

Lo­cal nom­i­na­tions set­tled for Lib­er­als, PCs

The Compass - - NEWS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­

Last week was a busy one po­lit­i­cally in the Trin­ity-Conception-Pla­cen­tia re­gion.

Three nom­i­na­tion votes took place be­tween Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day, leav­ing Sherry Gam­bin-Walsh and Judy Man­ning in the po­si­tion to bat­tle it out for the Lib­er­als and Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives, re­spec­tively, in Pla­cen­tia-St. Mary’s. In Car­bon­ear-Trin­ity-Bay de Verde, cur­rent Lib­eral MHA Steve Crocker man­aged to se­cure the nom­i­na­tion.

The Lib­er­als have been quick to be­gin se­cur­ing nom­i­na­tion bids since new elec­toral dis­trict bound­aries were fi­nal­ized ear­lier this year, with 26 can­di­dates now in place. But few races have been as an­tic­i­pated as the Car- bon­ear-Trin­ity-Bay de Verde nom­i­na­tion.

Trin­ity-Bay de Verde MHA Crocker duked it out with Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace MHA Sam Slade. With over 4,000 votes cast in the new dis­trict, some 500 votes were enough to keep Slade’s name off the bal­lot for Novem­ber.

“I am ex­cited,” Crocker told The Com­pass just af­ter he was no­ti­fied of the win. “It’s been a tough cam­paign when you’re cam­paign­ing with some­one who is your col­league and your friend.”

For Crocker, it has been 11 months in “cam­paign mode” he ex­plained.

He was no­ti­fied on his birth­day last year (Aug. 29) that for­mer Trin­ity-Bay de Verde MHA Char­lene John­son was re­sign­ing. Af­ter earn­ing the Lib­eral nom­i­na­tion, he went on to win the by­elec­tion last Novem­ber.

Ex­actly 11 months af­ter he learned of John­son’s de­ci­sion to re­sign, Crocker se­cured the nom­i­na­tion for his new dis­trict, which stretches from White­way to Bay de Verde and south to Bristol’s Hope.

A turnout of 4,000 for a sin­gleparty nom­i­na­tion vote is rare. In com­par­i­son, the Trin­ity-Bay de Verde by­elec­tion last Novem­ber saw some 4,700 peo­ple turned out to vote for all three par­ties.

Less than 1,000 peo­ple turned out to vote in the PC nom­i­na­tion for Pla­cen­tia-St. Mary’s. Judy Man­ning, the for­mer un­elected jus­tice min­is­ter and at­tor­ney gen­eral, se­cured the nom­i­na­tion with just over 600 votes. Her com­peti­tor, Colin Cor­co­ran, earned 361.

Premier Paul Davis re­moved Man­ning from cab­i­net ear­lier this year, cit­ing the need to be fis­cally re­spon­si­ble at a time when the province was fac­ing a sub­stan­tial bud­get deficit. In a re­cent in­ter­view with The Com­pass, Man­ning said she al­ways in­tended to fol­low through on her prom­ise to run in Pla­cen­ti­aSt. Mary’s and ul­ti­mately re­spected the premier’s de­ci­sion to do what he felt was nec­es­sary.

Man­ning will face off against Lib­eral Gam­bin-Walsh, who de­feated Larry Fo­ley and Gabe Ryan last Thurs­day. Poll to­tals were not made read­ily avail­able. Gam­bin-Walsh was born and raised in Pla­cen­tia and is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the New­found­land and Labrador As­so­ci­a­tion for Com­mu­nity Liv­ing. She pre­vi­ously won the nom­i­na­tion last fall.

The Pla­cen­tia-St. Mary’s dis­trict will take in as far north as Green’s Har­bour in Trin­ity Bay and as far south as St. Vin­cent’sSt. Stephen’s-Peter’s River in St. Mary’s Bay and as far west as St. Bride’s in Pla­cen­tia Bay.

Af­ter the restruc­tur­ing of dis­trict bound­aries ear­lier this year that saw 48 pro­vin­cial ju­ris­dic­tions re­duced to 40, new can­di­dates were re­quired for the up­com­ing pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

Steve Crocker

Sherry Gam­bin-Walsh

Judy Man­ning

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