PEI

3 new faces compete for Charlottetown votes

Federal candidates in Charlottetown say the contest for the riding should be one of the more interesting to watch because there is no incumbent running this year.

Federal candidates in Charlottetown say the contest for the riding should be one of the more interesting to watch because there is no incumbent running this year.

Joe Byrne is the candidate for the New Democrats, Sean Casey is the Liberal candidate and Donna Profit is running for the Conservatives.

The seat has been held by Liberal MP Shawn Murphy, who was first elected to the House of Commons in 2000 and announced in October that he would not run again.

Byrne has been a missionary and a social activist and is running on the motto, "Faith in people."

"There's all kinds of communities out there whose issues need to be on the table," he told CBC News on Tuesday. "Does that include people of faith? Absolutely. Does it include people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual? Absolutely. Does it include people with disabilities? Certainly."

Casey, the Liberal, is a lawyer many believe was handpicked by the party establishment. Casey has dismissed the idea, saying he was chosen by Charlottetown party members.

"Who else can award the nomination except for the people who carry the Liberal cards?" he asked. "It was handed to me by the 2,000 people who hold Liberal membership cards in the Charlottetown riding."

While Casey said he is picking up a strong anti-Stephen Harper sentiment, Profit, the Conservative candidate, said the riding could easily change hands from the Liberals.

"I don't think it's a hand-me-down, sort of hereditary sort of thing," she said. "I certainly am out there and I'm giving it a great shot and I think that it could be a Conservative riding just as easily as it could be a Liberal."