An aspiring politician in Carleton County says there's no truth to suggestions he pushed aside a sitting Progressive Conservative MLA to help win a nomination.
Dr. Colin Lockhart is seeking the nomination to be the PC candidate in the riding of Carleton-Victoria in September's election.
The current Victoria-Tobique MLA, Wes McLean, had planned to seek the nomination as well but announced this week he's bowing out.
Some of McLean's supporters say they feel the MLA has been sidelined by the party brass.
But Lockhart points out McLean himself has said that's not what happened.
"From his perspective anyway, he wasn't pushed out," said Lockhart.
"And certainly from myself and the people working on my team, there hasn't been any contact like that at all.
"I'm not aware of any push to have him make the decision he did."
Lockhart is a long-time supporter of Carleton PC MLA Dale Graham, who is retiring. A large part of Graham’s current riding will form the southern part of the new Carleton-Victoria riding.
Earlier this week, McLean addressed the concerns that he was being pushed aside.
"I have the utmost respect for Dr. Lockhart and there's been no movement afoot by him or others to ask me to step down. That's certainly not the case," he said.
McLean pledged to campaign for Lockhart, or whoever else wins the party's nomination in the riding.
McLean, 33, said he has another career opportunity lined up, but won't say what it is.
Lockhart is the chief of staff at the Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville.
He says if he wins he will work to persuade people in Perth-Andover that he will push to keep services at the hospital there and not attempt to move more of them to Waterville.
The Liberals have nominated Andy Harvey, a businessperson and Bristol village councillor, in Carleton-Victoria.