Stuck on ballot, Liberal candidate revives campaign

A Liberal who only two days ago resigned his candidacy in a central Newfoundland election made an about-face Monday, and predicted his election.

A Liberal who only two days ago resigned his candidacy in a central Newfoundland election made an about-face Monday, saying he was not only still running but expecting to be elected.

"I'm still the candidate in Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans," John Woodrow told CBC News on Monday afternoon, after Elections Newfoundland and Labrador revealed Woodrow's name will appear on ballots in Tuesday's vote.

"I'm going to run, and I'm going to win."

Woodrow announced his resignation to party workers and the media on Saturday, after being infuriated by published comments by Liberal president Danny Dumaresque.

However, Woodrow did not communicate his resignation toElections Newfoundland and Labrador, and ballots have already been published with his name on them.

"He has to come in and sign a form 48 hours before the election," said Georgina Barnes, the returning officer for Elections Newfoundland and Labrador in the district.

The other candidates are Progressive Conservative Susan Sullivan and New Democrat Junior Downey.

President's words stung candidate

Woodrow said he quitafter reading comments by Liberal party president Danny Dumaresque'sin the St. John's weekly newspaper the Independent. Dumaresque told the paper that the district was not a "must-win" for the Liberals — the party won just three seats in the Oct. 9 election.

Woodrow, who had saidhe "had no option" but to resign,indicated he had been disappointed before by Liberal head office.

"In the past, there was no support from Mr. Dumaresque and no support from the Liberal caucus," Woodrow told CBC News on Monday morning. "We were under the impression that would take place."

Chief electoral officer Paul Reynolds said Monday that Woodrow was required to follow protocol, and that even a well-publicized resignation must be accompanied by specific directions to his office.

"We know that he has publicly stated that he does not wish to represent the Liberal Party," Reynolds said before Woodrow changed his mind.

"Having said that, any votes cast for Mr. Woodrow in the election on Nov. 6 will be counted in his favour."

Polling stations to alert voters

He said the elections office would post signs at polling stations notifying voters that they can stillcast a ballotfor Woodrow.

If Woodrow wins the race and doesn't want the seat, Reynolds said, a byelection would have to be called.

The vote in Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans was cancelled during the campaign leading to the general election when Liberal candidate Gerry Tobin died of a heart attack. The electoral office rescheduled it for Tuesday.

Woodrow's candidacy was controversial from the moment the Liberal party announced it.

Dumaresque said he had not been aware Woodrow had once accused former Liberal cabinet minister Beaton Tulk of accepting bribes. An RCMP investigation cleared Tulk, who was reinstated in cabinet, and Woodrow recanted his story.

Liberal Leader Gerry Reid has refused to comment publicly on Woodrow's nomination.