Shanneyganock's Chris Andrews makes bid for PC nomination in Cape St. Francis
Longtime MHA Kevin Parsons announces he won't run again in the PC stronghold
Newfoundland and Labrador was rife with political announcements on Thursday, including the impending departure or a long-serving MHA and the candidacy of a well-known musician who hopes to replace him.
Progressive Conservative MHA Kevin Parsons — one of the longest-serving MHAs in the House of Assembly — is calling it quits after 12 years of representing the district of Cape St. Francis, which has voted PC since Newfoundland joined Confederation.
"It's been four elections, and I've done very well in those four elections, as you know. But, it's just the timing is good for me now," Parsons told reporters after question period Thursday.
"I'm at the stage of my life now where I'll soon be up there in the 60s. So I decided that I wouldn't take another run and spend a little bit more time with family."
Parsons said he intends to keep his seat until the next provincial election. He said he won't endorse a replacement until the nomination is filled, and from there he'll help the nominee try to get elected.
With Parsons's exit comes new blood.
Chris Andrews, best known as the front-man of the folk music group Shanneyganock, announced his bid for the PC nomination in Cape St. Francis — complete with a Facebook page and campaign video — only moments after Parsons made his announcement.
"Newfoundland and Labrador has given me everything, and I'd really, really like to give back," Andrews says in the video.
The electoral district covers the towns of Bauline, Flatrock, Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, Pouch Cove and Torbay.
Liberals have new interest
On the Liberal Party side, some newcomers have thrown their hats into the ring, while one political veteran is hoping to stick around.
Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Liberal MHA for the district of Placentia-St. Mary's, announced on Twitter she plans to run again in hopes of holding onto her seat within the Liberal caucus.
Gambin-Walsh was first elected in 2015, and has held ministerial portfolios in the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development and Service NL but is not currently part of cabinet.
Placentia - St. Mary’s and Trinity South, I will be seeking the nomination to represent you for the Liberal Party of NL in the next general election. It has been an honour to advocate for you and to help you navigate through issues. I ask for your continued support. <a href="https://twitter.com/nlliberals?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nlliberals</a>—@Sgambin
Elsewhere, Steve Denty, chair of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, announced he intends to run for the provincial Liberal nomination in the district of Terra Nova.
Denty has been raising concerns for the province's struggling tourism and hospitality industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Thursday afternoon Denty's name and picture had been removed from the list of board members on Hospitality N.L.'s website.
On the federal level, Joanne Thompson, executive director of the Gathering Place in St. John's, announced she wants the Liberal nomination in St. John's East, a riding held by the NDP's Jack Harris.