Nova Scotia·Nova Scotia Votes

Liberal leader says Dartmouth South candidate made decision to drop out

The leader of the Liberal party says he found out one of their candidates was stepping down the same day the election was officially called. Iain Rankin said he found out that Robyn Ingraham was dropping out of the race for Dartmouth South from her social media post on Saturday.

Robyn Ingraham announced Saturday she would no longer be running for the Liberals

Liberal Leader Iain Rankin says he has not yet spoken with Robyn Ingraham about her decision to drop out as candidate for Dartmouth South. (CBC)

Liberal Leader Iain Rankin said he found out one of his party's candidates was stepping down on the same day the election was called.

At a campaign stop on Sunday, Rankin said he found out that Robyn Ingraham was dropping out of the race for Dartmouth South from her social media post on Saturday.

Rankin said Ingraham had gone through the "green-light process" and been vetted by the party.

"Shortly after, she decided she was going to withdraw," Rankin said.

Ingraham's post said she'd arrived at the "difficult decision" to withdraw "realizing the time commitment and intensity of a campaign and the impact it will have on my mental health.

"In the future when I can better manage my anxiety, you may see my face with a red border once again. Maybe by then, folks won't care as much about modelling photos, & face and hand tattoos," the post said.

On Friday evening, Ingraham announced her candidacy on Facebook, where she said she was "beyond excited" to be joining the Liberals.

Robyn Ingraham stepped down as the Liberal candidate for Dartmouth South on Saturday, less than 24 hours after her candidacy was announced. (The Gentle Barber/Facebook)

In a post to her business page, The Gentle Barber, Ingraham talked about how she planned to balance her barbering alongside the demands of the political campaign.

Ingraham co-owns and manages Devoted Barbers & Co. in Dartmouth, "one of very few all-female owned and operated barber shops in HRM," according to the Facebook post.

It's unclear what kind of initial reaction Ingraham received when she announced she was running. But Rankin said people need to be treated better online, and "everyone deserves a fair shot" at running for office.

"Sometimes people are unfair," Rankin said.

"I would hope that more people start to accept people that have different lived experiences and that makes our representation better."

Rankin said he'd reached out to Ingraham to thank her for putting her name forward, but had not yet spoken with her.

The party says they have nearly three weeks to find a new candidate.

Rankin, who became premier in February, met Saturday with Lt.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc to dissolve the Nova Scotia legislature. 

Election Day will be Aug. 17.

With files from Michael Gorman