N.B. Liberal leader to seek Shawn Graham's old seat
Published Monday, February 25, 2013 7:03PM AST
The leader of New Brunswick’s Liberal Party says he will run in the seat about to be vacated by former premier Shawn Graham.
Brian Gallant hopes to keep the riding of Kent Liberal red after Graham’s resignation, effective March 11. He wants the Tories to call a byelection as soon as Graham leaves.
“They’ve spent weeks and months taunting and teasing about the fact I haven’t been in the legislative assembly, so if they think it’s that important, I’m sure they’ll be calling the byelection as soon as they can to give me a better chance to be there as soon as I can.”
Gallant may have company; provincial NDP Leader Dominic Cardy hopes to run a candidate in the riding as well.
“I haven’t made a final decision but I’ve got two strong candidates who have expressed an interest in putting their name forward,” says Cardy.
The leader of the provincial Green Party says he has been in contact with potential candidates, but he won’t be running himself.
“I’ve got lots of work to do to build this party to the point where it’s ready for the election in 18 months. Eighteen months is not a long time,” says David Coon.
New Brunswick’s People’s Alliance Party says their leader Kris Austin hasn’t made a decision either.
Premier David Alward has up to six months from the day Graham resigns to call a byelection.
“But then that gives Mr. Gallant and the other opposition parties time to hone their policy positions and to mount more effective criticism of the government,” says Tom Bateman, a political scientist at Saint Thomas University.
The premier’s office says Alward will announce a decision on the byelection date in due course.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore
Former New Brunswick premier Shawn Graham speaks to reporters about his party's future after their caucus meetings in this October 2012 file photo. (David Smith / THE CANADIAN PRESS)