Danny Dumaresque launches Liberal leadership bid
Longtime party member joins race that has attracted 4 candidates to date
Former MHA Danny Dumaresque is jumping into the race to lead the provincial Liberal Party, pledging to learn from past mistakes.
At a press conference in St. John’s Tuesday morning, Dumaresque acknowledged that he may have been too partisan in the past.
He said he will focus on listening more, and a more conciliatory approach.
"I have been a product of the party," he said. "I stepped out of the political science room where I was taught to challenge by my professors. And I think in my early years, I challenged too quickly."
Dumaresque also stresed that he is a "Liberal by conviction not by opportunity."
Involved with party for decades
He has had a long and varied involvement with the party.
Dumaresque served as Liberal MHA for Eagle River from 1989 to 1996.
In 1996, Dumaresque won the Liberal nomination in the new district of Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair, but lost the general election to Yvonne Jones, who ran as an Independent. Jones joined the Liberal caucus in 1999, and later became party leader.
In 2001, Dumaresque was John Efford’s campaign manager in that year's Liberal leadership race. Efford narrowly lost to Roger Grimes.
After winning, Grimes said he would never be able to sleep knowing he had a minister with Dumaresque advising him.
Dumaresque threatened to sue for defamation. But that conflict was resolved, and two years later, Grimes appointed him to the board of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.
Dumaresque served Liberal party president from 2006 to 2009.
He ran unsuccessfully for MHA in the 2007 and 2011 general elections. Dumaresque also offered for the leadership when Yvonne Jones had to step down due to health reasons months before that 2011 vote. The party brass selected another former MHA, Kevin Aylward, instead.
4 candidates in field so far
Dumaresque joins three other candidates in the field.
St. Barbe MHA Jim Bennett announced his bid for the job last week. St. John's businesswoman Cathy Bennett will officially join the race on Wednesday. And interim leader Dwight Ball has long signalled his intent to win the job on a permanent basis.
The deadline for candidates is Friday. The new leader will be chosen at a convention in November.