Progressive Conservative Blaine Higgs did not rule out the possibility of joining the Liberal cabinet on Tuesday, hours after he was re-elected in Quispamsis.
Higgs, who was David Alward’s high-profile finance minister, said he's waiting for manual recounts across the rest of the province before he looks to the future.
When asked if he would join a Liberal cabinet, the Quispamsis MLA would only say "it is not a consideration at this time."
Higgs said he wants his hard work from the past four years to continue with the next finance minister.
'I would share my plan with others because I think we need to do that. We need to build on what each other learns.' - Blaine Higgs
“I would share my plan with others because I think we need to do that. We need to build on what each other learns.” Higgs said.
“To me that's no different than what I would have done for years in the private sector."
"You don't bring someone into a job, and they are in a position they're now trying to figure out what to do. You have a succession plan where you share what you've learned and they can decide what they want out of it and what they don't but they don't need to reinvent the wheel,” Higgs said.
Higgs retained his Quispamsis seat with almost 1,500 votes more than Liberal Mary Schryer.
This is the first time in nearly 20 years that voters in Quispamsis elected a MLA that is in opposition. The riding, or its predecessors, had been a bellwether riding with voters electing an MLA from the governing party every year since 1974.
Higgs often took independent positions inside the Alward government, for instance, he blamed political promises for the province’s high debt and string of deficits.
While speculative, it wouldn’t be the first time that an incoming leader was able to convince an outgoing cabinet minister to join their inner circle.
In 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed David Emerson, who had been re-elected as a Liberal MP, to join his Conservative cabinet. Emerson had been a Liberal star candidate and a cabinet minister for former prime minister Paul Martin.
In May, the Legislative Assembly passed a floor-crossing law that means any MLA who leaves the caucus of the political party that they are elected with, must sit as an Independent or run in a byelection before they can join another party’s caucus.
There is nothing that prohibits a premier to appoint someone from outside their caucus to cabinet.
Liberal Leader Brian Gallant won 27 seats in the Sept. 22 election, Alward’s Tories won 21 seats and Green Party Leader David Coon won his own riding.