Tory wave sweeps across Saint John region as PCs win 9 seats
All but one Saint John-area riding elects Progressive Conservatives on Monday
The Saint John region has been painted Tory blue, electing Progressive Conservatives in all but one of 10 ridings.
That includes the resounding defeat of long-serving Liberal cabinet minister Rick Doucet, who lost by more than 1,300 votes to Progressive Conservative Andrea Anderson Mason in Fundy-The Isles-Saint John West.
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City councillor Gerry Lowe will be the only Liberal MLA from the Saint John region.
He won Saint John Harbour by 10 votes, edging out retired teacher and Progressive Conservative candidate Barry Ogden. NDP Leader Jennifer McKenzie placed a distant third.
Since the riding was decided by fewer than 25 votes, a judicial recount will be automatic upon request.
Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs won his seat in Quispamsis handily, as did Tory stalwarts like Ted Flemming (Rothesay), Dorothy Shephard (Saint John Lancaster) and Trevor Holder (Portland-Simonds).
The People's Alliance improved its showing in every riding in the Saint John region where it fielded a candidate.
In Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins, People's Alliance candidate Jim Bedford placed second to Tory incumbent Bruce Northrup.
Progressive Conservative Trevor Holder will serve his sixth term as an MLA after defeating city councillor and Liberal candidate John MacKenzie, capturing 3,168 votes, or more than 53 per cent, to 1,703 for MacKenzie.
The NDP's Kim Blue finished third with 449 votes, while Green Party candidate Sheila Croteau was close behind with 435. Independent candidate Artie Watson received 191 votes.
Holder held cabinet posts in the Bernard Lord and David Alward Tory governments.
Saint John East
Progressive Conservative Glen Savoie will serve a second term, defeating Liberal candidate Clare Manzer by 1,242 votes.
People's Alliance candidate Matthew Thompson placed third with 1,047 votes.
The NDP's Alex White finished fourth, followed by the Green Party's Lynaya Astephen.
Savoie originally lost his bid for the Saint John East seat in 2014, losing to Simonds High School Principal and Liberal candidate Gary Keating by only nine votes.
But in a surprise turn of events, Keating resigned only 22 days after the election. Savoie easily won the byelection to replace Keating with 44 per cent of the vote.
Saint John Harbour
This riding is notoriously difficult to predict, having voted orange, blue and red in the last 15 years.
In 2014, voters elected Liberal MLA Dr. Ed Doherty but only by 71 votes.
It was even more of a nail-biter this time around.
City councillor and Liberal candidate Gerry Lowe won by 10 votes, edging out Barry Ogden, a community activist and retired teacher who ran for the Progressive Conservatives.
Any past loyalty voters had for former NDP Leader Elizabeth Weir must feel quite distant now. Current NDP Leader Jennifer McKenzie finished third.
Green Party candidate Wayne Dryer — who ran for the NDP in 2010, before switching to the Green Party in 2014 — received 721 votes.
People's Alliance candidate Margot Brideau received 393 votes.
The results may be subject to a recount.
Saint John Lancaster
Voters in west Saint John re-elected Progressive Conservative Dorothy Shephard for a third term.
Liberal candidate Kathleen Riley-Karamanos finished with 1,727 votes, followed by People's Alliance candidate Paul Seelye.
The Green Party fielded Doug James and the NDP candidate was Tony Mowery.
Last December, Shephard announced she was taking a leave from the legislature to battle breast cancer.
Earlier this month, she received her final radiation treatment.
"We're almost through this and I am so grateful for the medical professionals who have taken care of me," Shephard wrote in a Facebook post at the time.
Shephard served as minister of healthy and inclusive communities in the David Alward government.
Fundy-The Isles-Saint John West
Longtime Liberal Rick Doucet won by a landslide in 2014, beating the late Dr. Jim (Doc) Parrot, a one-time PC MLA, by more than 2,600 votes.
But it was Doucet who was on the other side of a landslide this time.
Progressive Conservative newcomer Andrea Anderson Mason won with 3,808 votes to Doucet's 2,422.
The People's Alliance candidate, Doug Ellis, finished third with 1,104 votes.
Romey Frances Heuff, carrying the Green Party banner, received 469 votes, while the NDP's Keith LeBlanc got 203 votes.
Doucet held the energy and resource development and agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries portfolios in the Gallant government. He was also government house Leader.
There were no surprises in this suburban riding. PC Leader Blaine Higgs won his riding handily, winning almost 57 per cent of the vote.
Liberal Aaron Kennedy finished second, with 2,078 votes, followed by People's Alliance candidate Keith Porter.
The Green Party's Mark Woolsey finished fourth and NDP candidate Ryan Jewkes placed last with 239 votes.
Like its Kennebecasis Valley neighbour, Rothesay also went blue by a wide margin.
Progressive Conservative Ted Flemming defeated Liberal candidate Stephanie Tomilson for the second time.
People's Alliance candidate Michael Griffin finished in third place with 722 votes.
The Green Party's Ann McAllister received 571 votes, while the NDP's Josh Floyd got 251 votes.
Flemming was first elected in 2012 byelection. He was a member of Alward's cabinet, first as health minister and then as attorney general.
Progressive Conservative Bill Oliver will spend another four years as the MLA for Kings Centre.
The new riding was created in 2013. It runs from Welsford up to Norton, encompassing parts of the old Fundy-River Valley and Hampton-Kings ridings.
Oliver garnered 3,267 votes, good enough for 43 per cent of the vote.
Liberal Bill Merrifield finished a distant second, followed by People's Alliance candidate Dave Peters.
Green Party candidate Bruce Dryer finished fourth. NDP candidate Susan Jane Shedd received 342 votes.
Hampton elected retired school principal and Progressive Conservative Gary Crossman for a second term, garnering nearly half of the votes in the riding.
The Liberals fielded Carley Parish, a local lawyer. She finished second, followed closely by People's Alliance candidate Dana Hansen.
The Green Party ran John Sabine in the riding, while the NDP candidate was Layton Peck.
Progressive Conservative Bruce Northrup has been re-elected for a fourth term, winning by more than 1,900 votes.
Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins was the best showing for the People's Alliance in the Saint John region. Candidate Jim Bedford came second with more than 1,800 votes.
Liberal Ian Smyth placed third, followed by Green Party candidate Fred Harrison, the NDP's Dawna Robertson and independent candidate David Raymond Amos.
Northrup was a key part of Alward's cabinet, serving as minister of natural resources. He was later appointed minister of public safety and solicitor general.