Chester-St. Margaret's election battle in full swing
Tim Harris, Janet Irwin, Denise Peterson-Rafuse vying for South Shore seat
Chester-St. Margaret's has become a battleground in the Nova Scotia election with the New Democrat incumbent seeking re-election, the Progressive Conservative candidate hoping to turn the area back to blue and the Liberal candidate trying to recover from a gaffe late in the campaign.
Chester-St. Margaret's is one of the ridings where the New Democratic Party has brought in an out-of-province organizer to help its incumbents hang on.
"I've worked very hard for them in this constituency and they can actually see the results. I've been able to bring $28 million worth of road improvements," said Denise Peterson-Rafuse, the candidate for the New Democrats.
"Why wouldn't we explore and bring people in that have expertise?"
Peterson-Rafuse took Chester-St. Margaret's with 48 per cent of the vote in 2009, in the orange wave that saw Nova Scotia elect its first NDP government.
Before that, the seat had been Tory blue for more than a decade — and that's what Progressive Conservative candidate Janet Irwin is hoping will happen again.
Irwin, a retired CBC producer who has been campaigning for a year, said she's hearing from many residents who say they'll never vote NDP again.
"The number of people who have told me, 'I voted NDP last time, I'm never voting NDP again,' is huge. So they do want change," she said Tuesday.
"I believe that they like what I'm telling them about the kind of change that the PC Party would bring to government here."
Tim Harris, a well-known realtor in the riding, is hoping to take the Liberals from third to first and is in full damage control mode after remarks he made at a local high school last week.
At the end of an all candidates debate at Sir John A. Macdonald High School in Upper Tantallon, Harris complained it was a waste of his time after learning only three students were able to vote.
He said Tuesday it doesn't reflect his ability to represent constituents.
"We've issued a formal apology also to the students and parents," Harris told CBC News.
"I've got the ability and I've got the drive. When I was asked last year to consider it, I really thought of all the good things that I could do."
The provincial election is Oct. 8.