St. George's-Stephenville East byelection campaigning down to wire
The three candidates hoping to take a seat in the House of Assembly next month are putting out their final appeals for voter support ahead of Tuesday's byelection in St. George's-Stephenville East.
The seat became vacant in June, when former Tory cabinet minister Joan Shea retired from politics.
Competing for votes are PC candidate Wally Childs, New Democrat Bernice Hancock, and Liberal Scott Reid.
Childs is confident that his work as a school principal in St. George's will help him attract votes, and said he has been listening to what people have had to say on the campaign trail.
"There are four things I'm hearing: roads, roads, roads and roads," said Childs, who says he is drawn to politics as a way of giving back to his home area.
"I've gotten so much from the people in McKays, St. George's, and right up through the district. I've gotten so much from them over 20 years, and I want to give something back to them now," he said.
Hancock, who is conducting her second campaign in the district, said she has been doing well enough that she has doubled her order for campaign signs.
Hancock said voters want better roads, better access to health care, and improved home care.
"What we are hearing throughout the district is that people don't feel their issues and concerns are being listened to and not being addressed by government, and they feel they want a strong local voice — someone that is going to be concerned about their issues."
Scott Reid, a former Liberal aide who was raised in the Codroy Valley, said he has heard time and again that voters want a change at Confederation Building.
"I've been going around and meeting people, working hard to earn the support in this district. I've been getting a good response at the doors," he said.
"A mood for change exists in this district."
Shea represented the seat for almost 11 years, winning the seat when the Progressive Conservatives took power in 2003. Former Liberal cabinet minister Kevin Aylward held the seat for 18 years before that.
Heading into Tuesday's byelection, the Tories have 32 seats, the Liberals have 12, and the NDP have 3.