Nfld. & Labrador

Who's out and who's considering a run to lead the PC Party

Paul Davis's resignation as PC leader caught most inside the party off-guard, but now that the top job is open people have started considering a run.

With no rules and no timeline, no names confirmed

Steve Kent, David Brazil and Ches Crosbie are among the possible contenders to replace Paul Davis as leader of the PC Party in Newfoundland and Labrador (CBC)

Paul Davis's announcement Tuesday of his resignation as PC leader caught most inside the party off-guard, but now that the top job is open, people are considering a run.

The party's annual general meeting, Oct. 22 and 23 in Gander, will be a good place for anyone considering a run to see who in the party supports them.

So far the party hasn't set any dates or rules for a leadership race, which will influence who decides to run.

Steve Kent

MHA Steve Kent said it's too early to make a decision about a leadership run (CBC)

It's the name that's top of mind for many party members.

Steve Kent came in third in the last leadership race. At the convention he threw his support behind Davis, helping him beat John Ottenheimer in a very close race.

"I've not made any decisions at this point," said Kent, who sits as the MHA for Mount Pearl North.

"There's lot of time in the days and week and months ahead to make decisions about leadership runs."

Kent said the party needs to focus on rebuilding.

Ches Crosbie

Lawyer Ches Crosbie said he'll have more to say about the possibility of a leadership run after the party's AGM (Paul Daly/Canadian Press)

Lawyer Ches Crosbie has made a name for himself through high-profile class-action lawsuits.

He tried to run federally for the Conservatives in the last federal election, but the party wouldn't let him, bringing wrath from former federal PC cabinet minister John Crosbie, who is also Ches's father.

While insiders expect Crosbie to run, he's being tight-lipped about his interest, saying only that he'll have more to say after the party's AGM.

David Brazil

MHA David Brazil said his first priority is to put in a process that engages more party members, but once that's in place he may run for the leadership. (CBC)

The MHA for Conception Bay East-Bell Island said he's flattered by the calls he's received since Davis's resignation asking about his interest in the leadership.

He said his priority right now is to help the party come up with a new process that brings in new members and engages existing ones.

In 2014 the leader was chosen through a traditional delegated convention, but outgoing leader Paul Davis has recommended the party find a new process that gives individual party members a direct say.

Brazil said he'll work with the party to make sure that happens.

Depending on the timing and rules that are in place, he may put his name forward.

"I'm definitely leaving the door open," he said.

Cleary rules out run

Ryan Cleary ran for the PC Party in the last election but said he's too busy trying to start up a new union to run for the leadership (Mark Quinn/CBC)

Former NDP MP Ryan Cleary, who ran for the PCs provincially in the last election, says he's not considering a run.

"I wouldn't entertain that for a second," he said. "I'm busy."

Cleary is trying to start a new fisheries union to represent fish harvesters who are currently represented by the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union.

About the Author

Peter Cowan

CBC News

Peter Cowan is a St. John's-based reporter with CBC News.

With files from Daniel MacEachern