Nfld. & Labrador

Steve Porter clinches Liberal nomination in Conception Bay South

There was a political upset Thursday night in Conception Bay South, as Steve Porter won the Liberal nomination over MHA Rex Hillier.
Steve Porter is the Liberal candidate for Conception Bay South after defeating Rex Hillier on Thursday. (CBC)

There was a political upset Thursday night in Conception Bay South.

Steve Porter won the Liberal nomination for the district by defeating current Liberal MHA Rex Hillier.

The Liberals held open nominations in light of the new electoral boundaries, which reduced seats in the province from 48 to 40.

Porter credited organization with his volunteers with boosting his campaign.

"The people of C.B.S. had two strong candidates and I think it comes down to getting your vote out," he said.

Porter had lost to Hillier in a nomination battle in July 2014, before Hillier went on to win the byelection last November.

While Hillier has been in the seat for less than a year, Porter said he doesn't think the people of the district were moving away from their MHA.

"It's just that the boundaries changed, the Liberal Party had an open process and it was an open, free selection process and both teams worked very, very hard to get the vote out and unfortunately I got out more than Rex," he said.

Porter added he's confident Hillier and his team will support him and the Liberals through the provincial election process.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Hillier said he will continue his work as MHA for the district and on the Liberal campaign trail until the Nov. 30 election.

"My team put a plan in place, we worked hard, but came up a little short this time. I congratulate Steve Porter on the win, and for a good race," Hillier said in the statement.

"This was an open and competitive process. And the high level of interest in this nomination speaks to the strength of the Liberal Party and Leader Dwight Ball."

Hillier was the first Liberal to hold the seat in Conception Bay South since 1996.

The seat will be up for grabs again in the provincial election on Nov. 30.

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