Nfld. & Labrador

Gudie Hutchings clinches Long Range Mountains for Liberals

Political newcomer Gudie Hutchings has swept to a landslide victory for the Liberals in the riding of Long Range Mountains.
Gudie Hutchings delivers her victory speech in Corner Brook Monday night. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Political newcomer Gudie Hutchings has swept to a landslide victory for the Liberals in the riding of Long Range Mountains, capturing 73.9 per cent of the vote.

"A huge thank you. An enormous thank you," Hutchings told a crowd of supporters in the ballroom of Corner Brook's Glynmill Inn Monday night.

"I'm so humbled, with the numbers that we've seen come up on the screen," 

Hutchings credited continuous travelling on the campaign trail for her huge margin of victory.

"We were in every single community in this district, we did a lot of booting around, a lot of travelling," Hutchings told reporters.

"If I'm going to be elected by a district, I want to be able to say that I've been everywhere, spoken to people everywhere, and knocked on a lot of doors everywhere. And it's from the whole district."

Hutchings said she plans to maintain several offices in the riding, including in Stephenville and Corner Brook.

Learning on the job

Hutchings, who had never run for political office before, admitted there will be a learning curve upon arrival in Ottawa.

"I'll learn. My motto is you learn something new everyday," said Hutchings.

"If I didn't think I was up to the challenge, I wouldn't have put my name forth."

The riding, formerly known as Humber-St.Barbe-Baie Verte, has long been a Liberal one —  Liberal Gerry Byrne stepped down in June after 19 years as MP to run in provincial politics, and endorsed Hutchings upon his departure.

'Forewarned' of change

Conservative Wayne Ruth, a long-time municipal politician from Kippens, came in second with 12.1 per cent of the vote.

Ruth said while knocking on doors, it was clear many voters wouldn't endorse his party.

"There were a number of occasions, that people indicated they liked my resume, they liked my background. But you know, it was time for a change in Ottawa. It was almost like i was being forewarned that change was coming," said Ruth.

"That's where I feel I lost my vote."

Also in the Long Range Mountains race were the NDP's Devon Babstock, who captured 11.3 per cent of the vote, and the Green Party's Terry Cormier, with 2.7 per cent.

With files from Colleen Connors