Cabinet ministers Letto and Hawkins among 9 defeated Liberals
String of rookie MHAs ousted in Thursday's election
Two prominent cabinet ministers were knocked out of office Thursday night in Newfoundland and Labrador's election, with seven other members of the caucus also being served pink slips.
In Labrador West, Municipal Affairs Minister Graham Letto lost to New Democrat Jordan Brown — the first time the NDP has held the district's heavily unionized mining towns since 2007.
Education Minister Al Hawkins lost to Tory Chris Tibbs in Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans.
The Liberals were reduced to a caucus of 20 on Thursday night, or exactly half of the 40 seats in the House of Assembly.
Seven backbenchers went down to defeat in the election, all but one of them rookies who had been helped into office by a surging Liberal tide in 2015.
On Thursday, that red wave was proven to have washed clear away.
In Stephenville-Port au Port, John Finn was defeated by Tony Wakeham, who rose to PC prominence last year when he mounted an unsuccessful Tory leadership bid against Ches Crosbie.
Colin Holloway, one of the complainants in last year's legislative harassment scandal, lost Terra Nova to PC Lloyd Parrott.
Randy Edmunds, a two-term MHA, lost Torngat Mountains to Lela Evans of the PCs.
In Bonavista, Neil King lost to Tory Craig Pardy.
Mark Browne — who made headlines during the campaign for his role in what critics called "skategate," or the procurement of 34 tickets at a Kaetlyn Osmond event in Marystown — lost Burin-Placentia West to PC Jeff Dwyer.
Jerry Dean lost Exploits to PC Pleaman Forsey, the brother of former MHA Clayton Forsey.
Betty Parsley — the only member of the Liberal caucus to be challenged for a nomination this year — lost Harbour Main to Tory Helen Conway Ottenheimer, a lawyer who is married to former PC cabinet minister John Ottenheimer.
The Liberals won 31 seats just four years ago, but saw their numbers reduced over the mandate — losing one seat in a byelection, and kicking no less than three MHAs out of caucus. Two of them, Paul Lane and Eddie Joyce, were elected Thursday night as Independents.
- A prior version of this story had identified Al Hawkins as the minister of transportation and works. His last portfolio was education.May 17, 2019 8:15 AM NT