Brian Ramsay wins P.E.I. PC nomination for Summerside-Wilmot byelection

Brian Ramsay has won the P.E.I. PC nomination for the upcoming byelection in Summerside-Wilmot.

Will run again in seat he missed winning in 2015 by only 30 votes

Brian Ramsay being congratulated by members of the PC caucus after winning the nomination (Kerry Campbell/CBC )

Brian Ramsay has once again won the P.E.I. PC Party nomination for the upcoming byelection in Summerside-Wilmot.

Ramsay, who was the PC candidate in the riding in 2015, won over three other candidates on the third ballot.

The seat was left vacant in August when Liberal incumbent Janice Sherry abruptly resigned, citing family reasons. 

About 200 people gathered at 7 p.m. Monday night at the Wilmot Community Centre for the vote, about 180 of them registered to vote. 

Summerside Councillor Norma McColeman was eliminated after first ballot, while former cabinet minister Philip Brown was eliminated after second ballot.

Brian Ramsay came within 30 votes of winning the seat for the PCs in 2015. (submitted photo)
On the third and final ballot, Ramsay defeated Jason "Lefty" Gallant, a coordinator at the Summerside Boys and Girls Club, trying out politics for the first time.

For Brown, it puts to rest any bid from him for the party leadership for now. He has said he doesn't think the new leader should come from outside the legislature. 

Brown was P.E.I.'s tourism minister under Pat Binns but was defeated in 2007 when the Robert Ghiz Liberals came to power, and was the only candidate who lives outside the district. He last represented the neighbouring riding of Tyne Valley-Linkletter. 

Summerside-Wilmot is an important district for the party — Ramsay came within just 30 votes of taking the seat from Janice Sherry during the 2015 provincial election. 

No date has been set yet for the byelection.

Other parties prepare

The Liberals will gather for their nomination meeting Wednesday at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club in Summerside, P.E.I. 

Three candidates have expressed interest so far for the Liberals. Nancy Beth Guptill and Chris Palmer have been campaigning for about two weeks. Brian McFeely, a Summerside city councillor announced Thursday morning he would be seeking the nomination.

The Green Party has chosen deputy leader Lynne Lund as its candidate. Scott Gaudet, who ran in the district in the 2015 election and placed third, will run for the NDP.

With files from Kerry Campbell