Frank Coleman 'in it to win it' for PC leadership

In his first media appearance since entering the leadership race for the province's Progressive Conservative Party, west coast businessman Frank Coleman said he was "in it to win it."
Frank Coleman says he's pleased with the province's economic growth in recent years, and intends to maintain that momentum if he's the province's next premier. (CBC)

In his first media appearance since entering the leadership race for the province's Progressive Conservative Party, west coast businessman Frank Coleman said he was "in it to win it."

Coleman didn't outline any political platform, stating during his opening speech that he would be discussing who he was and his local history. He cited his long history with the Coleman Group of Companies.

Coleman said during a speech on Wednesday that he's happy with the province's economic growth over recent years.

"The economy has done well, and we want to keep this going, and so investment in infrastructure, investment in education and health," he said.

Coleman is running against two other candidates to become the next premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fish mogul Bill Barry was the first to enter the race to leadership. Howley town councillor Wayne Bennett submitted his papers on Friday morning.

Coleman addressed rumours that he was approached by former premier Danny Williams to seek the leadership nomination, saying he was the one who called Williams.

"For four years maybe, I have been encouraged by people of various parties to run and I've had many, many people to try and encourage me to run for both Liberals and PCs," Coleman said.

"But I believe in this party, and I did pick up the phone and call Danny Williams and told him I was thinking about this, and in fact I told Bill Barry I was thinking about this when Bill announced."

Coleman said he was unsure if he would receive support from Williams, but did receive advice from him.

Williams previously said that Barry would "definitely not" have his support, but wouldn't say who he would support during the race.

When asked by reporters why it took him so long to speak to media, Coleman said he took time to discuss his leadership bid with family and businesses partners.

With files from Gary Moore

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