Meet the candidates for the Mount Pearl North byelection
Jim Burton, Jim Lester and Nicole Kieley are running for the seat
A women's advocate, a businessman and a farmer — those are the professions of the three candidates put forth by the major political provincial parties for the Mount Pearl North byelection.
The writ was dropped on Monday evening, giving parties eight days to get their candidates in place for the vote on Nov. 21.
As of Thursday night, all three parties had their candidates.
The New Democrats were the first to put forth their nominee, selecting Nicole Kieley.
Kieley serves as executive director for the N.L. Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre (NLSACPC). While there she has been involved with initiatives such as the Journey Project — which aims to make changes to the justice system to protect victims of sexual abuse.
As head of the NLSACPC, Kieley oversees the centre's sexual violence crisis line, where calls are answered by more than 65 volunteers.
Kieley has spent 20 years in the anti-violence sector, and has also served as executive director of the Women in Resource Development Corporation.
The NDP took just six per cent of the votes in the riding in 2015, with Cameron Mercer-Maillet as its candidate.
The Tory candidate is taking another crack at a seat in Mount Pearl, after narrowly losing out in the Mount Pearl Southlands district in the 2015 election.
Lester, whose family owns and operates Lester's Farm, will take Steve Kent's place as the candidate for Mount Pearl North.
Lester is a father of three, a full-time farmer and agritourism businessman. Lester's Farm grows and sells its own crops, operates a U-pick and serves as a rental place for social functions.
Lester lost out to Paul Lane in the last election by less than five per cent of the vote.
In Mount Pearl North, however, the Progressive Conservatives — with Kent as candidate — took 51 per cent of the vote in 2015.
After unsuccessfully seeking the federal Liberal nomination in St. John's South-Mount Pearl in 2014, Jim Burton is trying his hand provincially.
Last time out, Burton withdrew his candidacy to give way for Seamus O'Regan, who went on to become the veterans affairs minister.
Burton is a longtime real estate broker and community volunteer, who currently serves as president of Re/Max Infinity Realty.
In 2015, Burton was named Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year for his work in the community. He chairs the board of Hope Air, an organization that helps cover the cost of air travel for people needing medical procedures outside the province.
In the last provincial election, Liberal candidate Randy Simms earned 42 per cent of the vote.