Blaine Higgs: Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick
Blaine Higgs, MLA and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick looks on in the Legislature in Fredericton, N.B., on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Stephen MacGillivray
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, September 10, 2018 4:10PM ADT
FREDERICTON - A sketch of Blaine Higgs, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick:
Hometown: Woodstock, N.B.
Job before politics: Worked at Irving Oil for more than three decades, rising through the ranks to become a senior executive at the New Brunswick-based company.
Leadership history: Elected to the legislature in 2010, served as finance minister under former Progressive Conservative premier David Alward; became Tory leader in 2016.
Key issue: Tory support for the shale gas industry prompted a backlash in the 2014 election, which saw the party ousted from power after one term in office, and energy issues look to be no less important this time around, with Higgs criticizing the Liberal government for letting projects like TransCanada's Energy East pipeline fizzle out during its tenure.
What to look for on the campaign trail: Higgs has cast himself as the candidate with "the experience we need" - often alluding to skills he picked up in the private sector - while appearing to claim the mantle of political maverick, promising a "straight talk" approach that puts province before partisanship.
Did you know: Higgs hired former New Brunswick NDP leader Dominic Cardy, who resigned this year over party infighting, as the Tories' chief of staff. Cardy is now running as a candidate in the election.
Celebrity lookalike: Gerald McRaney.
Social media stats: About 2,365 Twitter followers; more than 3,575 Facebook followers.
Quote: "I'm ready to go, training wheels are not required. I do not need the typical two-year orientation period of a new government."