Ex-Liberal Rothesay candidate joins NDP for next election

John Wilcox will be running again in the riding of Rothesay, but this time as a New Democratic Party candidate.

John Wilcox finished second to Progressive Conservative Ted Flemming in 2012 Rothesay byelection

John Wilcox will be running again in the riding of Rothesay in September's provincial election, but this time as a New Democratic Party candidate.

Wilcox announced on Monday that he was switching to the NDP, a month after he lost an appeal that he filed with the Liberals alleging that Stephanie Tomilson “unethically recruited students” to vote in the riding’s nomination. Tomilson defeated Wilcox to win the Liberal nomination in the Rothesay riding.

Wilcox was hoping to run for the Liberals again in the 2014 election. Wilcox lost to Progressive Conservative Ted Flemming, but finished ahead of NDP Leader Dominic Cardy, in the 2012 byelection to replace former Tory cabinet minister Margaret-Ann Blaney.

The former Liberal said in a news release on Monday that he is proud to be working with Cardy.

"Dominic Cardy has the vision and the commitment to making the tough choices that will get this province back on the right track. That’s what real leadership is and that’s why I am excited to be joining the NDP and seeking to carry the banner in Rothesay this September," he said in a statement.

Wilcox is the latest politician to switch from their previous political party to the NDP.

Former Progressive Conservative Bev Harrison announced last week that he would be running for the NDP in Hampton. Harrison served as a Tory MLA from 1978 to 1987 and from 1999 to 2014. He was the legislature's Speaker from 1999 to 2006 and then he briefly served in cabinet.

Ex-Liberal MLA Abel LeBlanc has also announced that he would run for the NDP in Saint John Lancaster. He made the announcement after his close friend Ivan Court, the former mayor of Saint John, lost a bid for the Liberal nomination in LeBlanc's old riding.

Wilcox said in a statement that he is not surprised to see politicians switching to the NDP.

"I like the fact that Dominic Cardy has made the NDP a place where former Liberals, Conservatives or Greens can come and work together towards common goals,” Wilcox said in a statement.

"The NDP is a unity party and that’s exactly what New Brunswick needs right now."

The provincial election will be held on Sept. 22.

About the Author

Daniel McHardie

Digital senior producer

Daniel McHardie is the digital senior producer for CBC New Brunswick. He joined CBC.ca in 2008. He also co-hosts the CBC political podcast Spin Reduxit.