Nfld. & Labrador

Steve Crocker sweeps Trinity-Bay de Verde byelection for Liberals

Liberal Steve Crocker has won the seat that was left vacant by former finance minister Charlene Johnson.
Liberal Steve Crocker, seen in this file photo, won the Trinity-Bay de Verde byelection Tuesday night by 1711 votes. (Twitter)

Liberal Steve Crocker has won the byelection in Trinity-Bay de Verde more than 1700 votes — adding yet another seat for his party, which has now won seven consecutive byelections.

In Tuesday night's vote, Crocker easily beat PC candidate Ron Johnson and NDP candidate Tolson Rendell to take the seat.

Crocker won with 3074 votes, while Johnson got 1363 votes, and Rendell finished with 254 votes.

The seat had been left vacant by former cabinet minister Charlene Johnson, who retired from politics last September to focus on her family.

The win marks the first time the Liberals have won the seat in Trinity-Bay de Verde since 2003, when Johnson was elected under then-premier Danny Williams.

The Liberals won both byelections on Tuesday night, which now means the PCs have lost seven consecutive seats to the party.

Tories 'dumbfounded'

PC candidate Ron Johnson said he will not run for politics again after Tuesday's vote, following a failed attempt to hold on to the seat formally held by his daughter, Charlene Johnson.

"What we got at the doors was different from the vote," he said.

"I think we drove more Liberals to the polls than PCs."

In an interview after the results were announced, Charlene Johnson said she was "dumbfounded" at her father's loss, and that she isn't very optimistic about her party's chances leading up to the next provincial election in 2015.

"I thought if we could win at least one of these byelections, we could really turn it around and give Paul [Davis] a chance," she said.