Seamus O'Regan upsets Ryan Cleary for Liberal win in St. John's South-Mount Pearl
NDP lick their wounds, lose both St. John's ridings to Liberals
Former broadcaster Seamus O'Regan ousted NDP incumbent Ryan Cleary in the riding of St. John's South-Mount Pearl in Monday's general election, as part of a sweep that put the Liberals in government.
"It's scary when you think about how green I was when I started all of this," O'Regan told Liberal supporters at the Delta Hotel in downtown St. John's Monday night.
Throughout the night, early results had O'Regan ahead of Cleary, who was first elected as an MP in 2011, upsetting then-Liberal incumbent Siobhan Coady.
Whenever you get nervous in the House of Commons, you say Newfoundland and you say Labrador.- Ryan Cleary
"To my honourable opponent Ryan Cleary: Ryan, your commitment to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador is without question," said O'Regan.
"Prior to and during your tenure as MP, you have continuously raised issues of great provincial importance. We may not always agree, we may not always see eye to eye on how exactly we do that, but we both agree on the necessity for change."
O'Regan was touted as a star candidate for the Liberals, and is a close friend of Leader Justin Trudeau.
O'Regan cohosted CTV's Canada AM for nearly a decade before switching to politics.
Cleary told NDP supporters in St. John's Monday night it had been a "long, brutal campaign," but it was a good political fight against O'Regan.
"I'll give him this little piece of advice: whenever you get nervous in the House of Commons, you say Newfoundland and you say Labrador ... you never forget your focus and why you're in Ottawa."
Cleary and Jack Harris were the two Newfoundland and Labrador NDP MPs ousted as part of a Liberal sweep across all of Atlantic Canada.
"I know that there was a red tide. Why did it happen? I don't know. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, Canadians can answer that question," said Cleary.
"I did my job … no, I'm sorry, this is not a job, this is a life. And I did this to the best of my ability. I gave it everything I had, everything was laid out there."
As for what he'll do next, Cleary said he doesn't have any concrete plans in place and will spend some time figuring that out.
"It'll be fun, whatever I do it'll be a good time and it will be for the betterment of Newfoundland and Labrador, this is what I do."