P.E.I. District 20 race could see Matthew MacKay against Matthew MacKay
A tale of two MacKays
PC MLA Matthew MacKay is running for re-election in P.E.I.'s District 20 Kensington-Malpeque and a different Matthew MacKay is seeking the Green nomination in that same district, which has the potential to set up a confusing election race.
"When I was approached to run I was concerned about this," said potential Green Party nominee MacKay, in an interview with CBC Radio: Maritime Noon's Bob Murphy.
Luckily, a compromise has been reached.
PC MLA MacKay received a call from Green Party officials about two weeks ago, he said.
"I heard rumblings over the few weeks prior that there was another Matthew MacKay going to be running against me."
That is when the Greens came up with an idea. PC MLA MacKay ran as Matthew MacKay before and he could keep his name.
Now, the MacKay running for the Green Party nomination will be referred to by his middle initial. If he wins the nomination he will run in District 20 as Matthew J. MacKay, and will be simply referred to as Matthew J.
"Which I thought was good of them for doing that," MLA MacKay said.
'Old Matthew' and 'young Matthew'
Matthew J. thinks it is easy to tell both men apart at the door. He said he could be called "old Matthew" and the PC MLA could be called "young Matthew."
"I think if this was Toronto where we are trying to deal with thousands and thousands of people it might be a concern, but PC Matthew, or blue Matthew everybody knows him," said Matthew J.
Both men grew up in the area they are vying to represent, so most residents in the riding know both of them, Matthew J. said.
"I don't think anyone is going to be confused," Matthew J. said.
The area has only about 4,000 people, so it is not too hard to distinguish the two Matthews.
"I'm not worried about that at all getting mixed up," said MLA MacKay.
Everything politically oriented for the Green campaign will say Matthew J. MacKay.
"I will be Matthew J. MacKay whether that is a button or a tattoo, whatever, I am Matthew J. MacKay. I will use green type whenever possible. We will do all we can so there is no confusion," Matthew J. said.
'I opened your mail'
However, living in the same area, with the same name, many might think confusion is inevitable.
Matthew J. has picked up what he thought was his mail at the post office many times, he went home and opened it up. It wasn't his, it belonged to the PC MLA, he said.
"So, I'd call Matthew and say, 'look I opened your mail.' It got to the point where I kind of trained myself not to do that."
The date Islanders will take to the polls has not been made official, but MLA MacKay said he has been knocking on doors already. He was elected in 2015 and is the current shadow critic for economic development and tourism.
Matthew J. is running uncontested for his District 20 nomination. If no one challenges him before his Tuesday nomination meeting at 6:30 p.m. at New London Community Complex the Island will see MacKay versus MacKay in the upcoming election.
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With files from Maritime Noon