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On Point: Repercussions for Wayne Bennett boot

The wild card candidate for the leadership of the province's Progressive Conservatives was booted out of the race last week, leaving some wondering if there will be consequences for the Tories.
Wayne Bennett's eviction brings the field back to two. A former premier comes off the bench to bring star power to the PC campaign as a must-win by-election enters its final days. 17:53

The wild card candidate for the leadership of the province's Progressive Conservatives was booted out of the race last week, leaving some wondering if there will be consequences for the Tories.

Wayne Bennett was booted out of the race to become the party's next leader after he came under fire for some of his tweets.

Russell Wangersky, of The Telegram, said the party did the right thing when it kicked Bennett out of the campaign.

"I don't think they had any choice, based on the material, but also I think they were looking for a reason to get someone out of the campaign that was making a lot of noise — and not the right kind of noise," Wangersky said.

Lynn Hammond, former communications director for Kathy Dunderdale, said when Bennett endorsed NDP candidate Sheilagh O'Leary for the Virginia Waters byelection over PC candidate Danny Breen, Bennett wasn't truly supporting the party he was running to lead.

"When you sign up for something like leadership, when you say that you're going to be a member of a party, then you need to be a member of the party," Hammond said.

John Hogan, the vice president of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, said Bennett's endorsement of an NDP candidate was a backwards approach.

"I think on the one hand, the PC Party does want to try and be open and let everyone in, but on the other hand parties exist for like-minded people to get together — that's the whole point of a party," Hogan said.

Wangersky, Hammond and Hogan were featured on this week's panel for On Point with David Cochrane.

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