A leader wins, a cabinet minister loses: How Halifax-area candidates fared
NDP Leader Gary Burrill wins his seat, Liberal cabinet minister Joanne Bernard loses seat
NDP Leader Gary Burrill won his seat, a Liberal cabinet minister went down to defeat in Dartmouth and the Tories made a push in several Halifax-area ridings in Tuesday's provincial election.
Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard trailed New Democrat Susan Leblanc, a film and stage actor, in Dartmouth North all night, but it took until 1:15 a.m. Wednesday for Leblanc to be declared the winner.
Burrill reclaimed Halifax Chebucto for his party, which lost the seat in 2013 to Liberal Joachim Stroink. The district is a longtime NDP stronghold. Former provincial NDP leader Alexa McDonough was elected there three times, while New Democrat Howard Epstein held it from 1998 until 2013, when he didn't run again.
"The riding that has been served so well over the years by NDP leader Alexa McDonough and Howard Epstein has returned to the New Democratic Party," Burrill said Tuesday night amid cheers at a campaign celebration in Halifax.
Progressive Conservative Brad Johns beat out Liberal incumbent Stephen Gough in Sackville-Beaver Bank, while several other area ridings are leaning Tory but are still too close to call.
Tim Halman gained another seat for the PCs in Dartmouth East, Andrew Younger's former riding. Younger was a prominent member of Stephen McNeil's cabinet after the Liberals won the 2013 election, but was kicked out of caucus. He had intended to run as an Independent, but withdrew in early May.
Barbara Adams gained yet another seat for the Progressive Conservatives in the Halifax region, beating out Liberal incumbent Joyce Treen in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.
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Where Liberals held
Others Liberals in the Halifax area, however, find themselves in better shape. Rafah DiCostanzo held Diana Whalen's Liberal seat in Clayton Park West after Whalen did not reoffer.
Backbencher Ben Jessome fended off a high-profile challenger in PC candidate and current Halifax councillor Matt Whitman, who was vying for the seat in Hammonds Plains-Lucasville.
Lena Diab held her seat in Halifax Armdale against former Cape Breton University president David Wheeler, one of the NDP's most high-profile rookie candidates.
Cole Harbour-Portland Valley candidate Tony Ince held his seat against Progressive Conservative Chris Mont. Bill Horne also held on in Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.
Labour Minister Kelly Regan held her seat in Bedford for a third term. She handily took the riding in 2009 and 2013.
Long-time Liberal MLA Keith Colwell won Preston-Dartmouth, as did Brendan Maguire in Halifax Atlantic. Liberal Iain Rankin held his seat in the riding of Timberlea-Prospect, and Patricia Arab in Fairview-Clayton Park. Halifax Citadel-Sable Island remains Labi Kousoulis's seat.
Where the NDP held
The NDP also held seats in their strongholds. Dave Wilson is back for another term in Sackville-Cobequid, a seat he's held since 2003. And Lisa Roberts was re-elected in Halifax Needham, which she first won in a 2016 byelection after Maureen MacDonald stepped down.
Claudia Chender won another seat for the NDP, taking Dartmouth South. There was no incumbent in that riding as Marian Mancini had declined to run.