A former aide to a retiring Newfoundland MP will carry Conservative colours in Labrador in the federal election.
Lacey Lewis, who had worked with St. John's East MP Norm Doyle, will face a Liberal incumbent in the Labrador riding.
Lewis, 24, who is from the Avalon Peninsula community of Conception Harbour, is the former Young Conservatives president in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Conservatives acknowledge they are facing an uphill battle in the Oct. 14 general election in Labrador, and not only because of Premier Danny Williams's "anything but Conservative" campaign.
Joe Goudie, who represented the party in the 2006 election, has filed a complaint with Elections Canada over the so-called "in and out" scandal, in which the Conservatives have been accused of funnelling election donations through individual candidates' accounts in order to bypass spending limits.
"This is one election I have no interest in," said Goudie, a former provincial cabinet minister who has cut all ties with the Conservatives.
"This money in, money out [scheme] smells to high heaven … If there is a Conservative candidate in this campaign, he or she is going to have an extremely difficult time, I think."
Debbie Singleton, who put her day job on hold in 2006 to manage Goudie's campaign, said people in the riding are upset about the Conservative record on other issues as well.
"Stephen Harper has already broken promises of the last election — the 650 troops for [Canadian Forces Base] Goose Bay, the UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], everything for 5 Wing Goose Bay," Singleton told CBC News.
"They were also involved in the in and out scheme. I don't like being taken advantage of," she said.
Steve Outhouse, who was an aide to retiring Fisheries and Oceans Minister Loyola Hearn and who is now volunteering on the Conservative campaign in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the party will seek volunteers in Labrador and other ridings — despite Williams's ABC campaign.
"What I hope is it's not more intimidation that we're seeing a lot of down here on the island portion of the province, where people are feeling threatened and not comfortable volunteering because they fear for what may happen to their career development," Outhouse said.
Russell has represented Labrador riding in the House of Commons since winning a 2005 byelection.