MacLellan wins Glace Bay byelectionA two-horse race in the Glace Bay byelection ended with a Liberal victory for newly minted politician Geoff MacLellan.
Early polls put longtime NDP candidate Myrtle Campbell ahead of the Cape Breton University program director, but it soon became apparent that three times wasn’t a charm for the retired occupational health nurse in what was considered her election to win.
Campbell, who ran for the NDP in the 2009 and 2006 general elections, received 2,281 votes, falling 1,620 votes behind MacLellan’s 3,901.
Last year, Campbell brought the NDP to within 543 votes of an upset over the Liberals and many believed the 18-year school board member was the party’s best chance at winning another provincial seat.
“I told ya we were going to do it guys,” MacLellan told a room full of supporters in downtown Glace Bay.
MacLellan also poked fun at the future of his play with Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League Sydney Sooners.
“I just had to put something quick together for the newspaper, so I just want to read it off to you. For sale: One new ball glove, two pairs of ball cleats, three hockey sticks. Will take best offer. Washed up athlete is changing careers.”
MacLellan, who was fast-tracked as a Liberal candidate, also paid tribute to fallen soldier Sgt. James MacNeil of Glace Bay who was killed this week by an improvised explosive device during his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan.
“Jimmy instilled what it is to be from Glace Bay and he represented us well, and if I can be a fraction of what Jimmy MacNeil, Sgt. Jimmy MacNeil, represented for Glace Bay I think we’ll be in pretty good shape moving forward.”
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, who came to Glace Bay on Tuesday to support Campbell, appeared disappointed after Liberals swept the byelections of Glace Bay and Yarmouth, where Liberal Zach Churchill defeated Charles Crosby of the Conservatives by 1,525 votes.
After the defeat, Campbell headed down to Liberal party headquarters to congratulate MacLellan on his win.
“We knew that they were going to be really tough,” said Dexter. “This has been a Liberal seat for some time. From my perspective I know that Myrtle and the team are working hard. She’s a great candidate.”
Calls for a byelection in Glace Bay came shortly after Liberal MLA Dave Wilson resigned for unknown reasons in March. His departure from an 11-year career in provincial politics came with much speculation as it quickly followed the release of a report on inappropriate MLA spending.
Wilson has offered no comment to media regarding his resignation, leaving some to wonder if the spending scandal would hurt the local Liberals.
Five candidates put their names forward for the seat, including Progressive Conservative Party candidate Michelle Wheelhouse, who received 759 votes; Independent candidate Edna Lee, who received 195 votes; and Dan Wilson, Atlantic Party candidate and son of Dave Wilson, who garnered 56 votes.
“I think it went great,” said Wheelhouse after learning of the byelection results. “We had a good time. I’m just a little overwhelmed. We all did great.”
Dana Doiron, spokesperson for Elections Nova Scotia, said Glace Bay’s returning officer reported a steady stream of voters throughout the day and no heavy cluster of voters at one time.
Source: The Cape Breton Post online, Tuesday, June 23, 2010.