Nfld. & Labrador

'He's never talked to me since,' says Ryan Cleary's campaign co-chair

A key member of Ryan Cleary's campaign in St. John's South-Mount Pearl says he learned from media reports that the defeated NDP MP was joining the Progressive Conservatives.

Longtime NDP supporter Harry Stone says he wants to move past Cleary's unexpected defection

Defeated NDP MP Ryan Cleary shocked many political observers on Oct. 30 when he announced he was joining the Progressive Conservatives and will be a candidate in Windsor Lake for the Nov. 30 election. (CBC)

A key member of Ryan Cleary's federal election campaign in St. John's South-Mount Pearl says he learned from media reports that the defeated New Democrat MP was joining the Progressive Conservatives.

Harry Stone, who was co-chair of the NDP's election planning committee in the riding, added that Cleary has not replied to any of his messages.

"He's never talked to me since," Stone, a life-long New Democrat, told CBC News Monday.

Cleary, 48, made political waves on Oct. 30 when he announced he was joining the PCs, and is the party's candidate in the St. John's area district of Windsor Lake for the Nov. 30 election.

Stone joined Cleary's campaign last January and said he contributed hundreds of hours recruiting volunteers, making phones calls and much more.

He had no idea that the one-term MP was planning to leave the party following his defeat in the Oct. 19 federal election.

Stone said he was "disappointed and surprised," but refused to criticize Cleary.

"All I want to do is move forward and help elect a provincial NDP government," he said. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Terry Roberts is a reporter with CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, and is based in St. John’s. He previously worked for The Telegram, The Compass and The Northern Pen newspapers during a career that began in 1991. He can be reached by email at: Terry.Roberts@cbc.ca.

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