Nfld. & Labrador

Conservative candidate Lorraine Barnett to run in Avalon

It's one of the most hotly contested nominations in the province — and now, a staffer from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has stepped in to run for the Conservatives in the next federal election.
Lorraine Barnett is running for the Conservative party in the Avalon federal electoral district. (CBC)

It's one of the most hotly contested nominations in the province — and now, a staffer from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) has stepped in to run for the Conservatives in the next federal election.

Lorraine Barnett, who has advised politicians for years through her job with ACOA, announced that she will run for the party in the Avalon district of eastern Newfoundland.

According to a statement released by the Conservative Party Friday, Barnett was born and raised in Patrick's Cove. She later moved to Holyrood before settling down in Paradise with her husband. 

The statement reads that Barnett knows how to "roll up her sleeves to get things done" from her experience as regional affairs director for ACOA.

In early July, Ches Crosbie was rejected by the Conservatives as a suitable candidate for the riding. 

Speaking to CBC News, Barnett said she's in the dark about what prompted the rejection.

"I supported Ches," she said.

"I signed his nomination papers, I worked hard to move his nomination forward, but the decision wasn't ours." 

Barnett is running against former Liberal Scott Andrews, who was ousted from the federal caucus amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Barnett thinks the Liberal vote will be split between now-independent Andrews and Liberal Ken McDonald, and she expects the circumstances surrounding Andrews' ejection will be a topic of conversation throughout the campaign.

"The allegations against Mr. Andrews are disturbing and I really don't think he's laid his cards on the table, I don't think he's come clean to people," Barnett said.

The Conservative Party met Friday night to discuss two potential candidates interested in running in the riding of St. John's East.

Deanne Stapleton beat out Gerry Skinner for the Conservative nod. Stapleton is set to go up against Liberal Nick Whalen and NDP MP Jack Harris.

With files from Peter Cowan

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