Nfld. & Labrador

Cathy Bennett not worried about losing seat to Ryan Cleary

Liberal MHA Cathy Bennett said she was surprised to find out former MP Ryan Cleary will be running against her in the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election next month, but she isn't afraid of losing her seat.
Liberal MHA Cathy Bennett spoke to CBC's David Cochrane on Friday while out on the campaign trail. (CBC)

Liberal MHA Cathy Bennett said she was surprised to find out former MP Ryan Cleary will be running against her in the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election next month, but she isn't afraid of losing her seat.

"It's a bit of a surprise, but I'm going to worry about what I'm going to do," Bennett told CBC's David Cochrane on Friday.

"I'm kind of surprised that someone who campaigned against the politics of fear with the Stephen Harper Conservatives is now joining a campaign that is adopting the same mantra of campaigning."

Ryan Cleary said Friday he is seeking the Tory nomination in Windsor Lake district in the Nov. 30 election. (CBC)

Cleary, who recently lost his seat as a New Democratic MP to the federal Liberals, announced this week that he is joining the provincial PC Party. Both Cleary and Bennett are running for the district of Windsor Lake, formally known as Virginia Waters.

Bennett, who became the MHA for Virginia Waters in a byelection last year, says the news that Cleary is running against her will make for a memorable campaign.

 "It's going to make for an interesting conversation on the doorsteps," she said.

"I've been knocking on doors now since May, and we are regularly asked who the other candidates are going to be."

Bennett said over the past several months people have repeatedly asked her who will be running for the other parties. (CBC)

Bennett said that despite all the media attention Cleary's announcement is getting, she still likes her party's chances of winning on Nov. 30.

"I wasn't worried last year in the byelection about any other competition, and I'm certainly not worried about it this year," she said.

"Certainly when you have a government that is trying to hobble along on its last legs, you expect anything."

With files from David Cochrane

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