FREDERICTON – The deputy mayor of Saint John will run for the Liberals in a provincial byelection next month.
Liberal Premier Brian Gallant says Shelley Rinehart will be the party’s candidate in Saint John East.
Rinehart teaches marketing in the faculty of business at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John.
In a statement, Gallant says Rinehart has critical experience in economic and energy issues.
Gallant has called the byelection for Nov. 17.
The seat became vacant last week after Liberal Gary Keating quit politics, saying the hours and travel that come with the job would have a negative impact on his health and family.
The Opposition Progressive Conservatives have said Glen Savoie, who narrowly lost to Keating in last month’s provincial election, will get the nod as their candidate.
Members of the New Democratic Party have launched an effort to convince leader Dominic Cardy to run in the riding.
PC leader says Gallant lacks leadership
Meanwhile, the new interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives is wasting no time in going after Gallant.
Bruce Fitch says Gallant should have been able to keep his caucus together instead of having to call a byelection less than two months after the provincial election.
He says a lack of leadership by Gallant is to blame for Keating’s departure.
Fitch was chosen Saturday as interim Tory leader, replacing former premier David Alward.
He is a four-term member for the riding of Riverview, and will also be the leader of the official Opposition when the legislature resumes in December.