MacDonald 'not going to say no' to Liberal bid

Businessman Dean MacDonald is suggesting he is interested in leading Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberals.
Dean MacDonald speaks with Here & Now's Debbie Cooper 3:50

Businessman Dean MacDonald, who has long been courted as a contender to lead Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberal party, is suggesting he may be interested in the job.

"What I don't want to do is [that] I don't want to say I'm not interested in the job, and then announce in 18 months that I'm running for it because then the very first experience people would have with me is that I’ve lied," MacDonald said in an interview.

Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward lost his own race to win a seat in the Oct. 11 general election.

Aylward has not yet revealed whether he intends to resign as leader or stay on. The Liberals won six seats in the election, enough to form the Official Opposition in the next sitting of the house of assembly.

MacDonald, a longtime business associate of former Tory premier Danny Williams, has been involved in Liberal circles for many years.

On Wednesday, he spoke to the Conception Bay Chamber of Commerce with a speech that focused on leadership and shortcomings of Newfoundland and Labrador's political parties.

Speaking to CBC News, he indicated that he is certainly leaving the door open for a future career in politics.

"The province may need someone who's prepared to roll up their sleeves and put in the effort, and who has a love of this place and if I happen to be the right person at that time, well, that may happen," MacDonald said.

"But I just don't want to say yes, but I'm certainly not going to say no."

The Liberals have had five leaders in the last six years. In August, with two months to go before the provincial election, Yvonne Jones stepped down as leader because of weakness from breast cancer.

MacDonald, the former president of Cable Atlantic, went on to lead Persona Communications, which he later sold. He currently is the chief executive officer of Tuckamore Capital as well as another investment firm, Newport Partners Income Fund.