Nova Scotia

Why someone named John is likely to be next MLA for Glace Bay-Dominion

Whenever the next Nova Scotia election is called, voters in the riding of Glace Bay-Dominion will have to scrutinize the ballot closely, because the three main political parties have all nominated candidates named John.

Candidates for the 3 main political parties in the Glace Bay-Dominion riding all share same first name

The Liberals, New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives are all running Johns in the riding of Glace Bay-Dominion whenever the next provincial election is called. (Google)

Whenever the next Nova Scotia election is called, voters in the riding of Glace Bay-Dominion will have to scrutinize the ballot. That's because the three main political parties have all nominated candidates named John.

Johnny White is running for the Progressive Conservatives. He's widely known as Johnny, but his election signs all say John.

White said he's a little concerned about all the people named John running in the riding, but said it'll probably be OK in the end, thanks to the Cape Breton propensity for nicknames.

"I'm probably the smallest of the three Johns running, but my nickname is Bubba and it comes from my godson Ryan, who had an uncle Johnny and me as a godfather, and he just nicknamed me Johnny Bubba," White said.

The Liberal candidate, John John McCarthy, said his first and middle name are actually both John.

"Well, it is quite hilarious," he said. "My friends get a big kick out of it ... I always joke around with them that two Johns are better than one."

From left, PC candidate Johnny White, NDP candidate John Morgan and the Liberals' John John McCarthy are all running in the riding of Glace Bay-Dominion. (Submitted)

John Morgan is the NDP candidate. He said he does not have a nickname, but jokingly said he might have to go by his last name just to separate himself from the pack.

That might be especially important, because Morgan is also known to some as Johnny.

"The name that you hear more commonly in Glace Bay is Johnny, actually, and most people in Glace Bay know me by the name Johnny, as well, and so John John kind of upped the ante on that," he said.

Richard MacKinnon, vice-president academic at Cape Breton University and a researcher whose interests include Cape Breton nicknames, said John is a common name and nicknames are one way to distinguish one John from another.

"That's still pretty important in Cape Breton, whether you're a politician or not, so it's kind of interesting, people will have to know which John they're voting for," he said.

A date for the next provincial election has not been set, but some pundits expect it will be called this year.

The three Johns in Glace Bay-Dominion did say they are having a bit of fun with their names, for now, but that they will likely be easily distinguished from one another by their platforms once the campaign starts in earnest.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Ayers

Reporter/Editor

Tom Ayers has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years. He has spent the last 16 years covering Cape Breton and Nova Scotia stories. You can reach him at tom.ayers@cbc.ca.

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