FREDERICTON – New Brunswick NDP leader Dominic Cardy will run in the upcoming Saint John East byelection that is being held to fill a seat that was vacated three weeks after the New Brunswick provincial election.
In an interview with Global News, Cardy says he knows what the job entails and is ready for the opportunity.
“My job is now to talk to the people of Saint John East, because that’s who this by-election has to be about, not about Dominic Cardy, or the NDP, but about who can be the strongest voice for Saint John East in Fredericton,” Cardy said Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the party said Cardy made the decision after consulting the party, his wife and people in the riding.
He will launch his campaign in Saint John on Wednesday.
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.
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Members of the NDP had been trying to convince Cardy to run in the Nov. 17 byelection, but he had been noncommittal about launching another campaign.
“I’m ready to be that voice, ready to start work on the first day, I know what the job entails, and I’d be honoured if the people of Saint John East give me their consideration when it comes time to vote on the 17th,” he said.
Cardy announced after the Sept. 22 election he was going to resign after the party garnered 13 per cent of the popular vote but did not win any seats.
He was not scheduled to be replaced as leader until the party’s convention next month.
The Opposition Progressive Conservatives have said Glen Savoie, who narrowly lost to Keating in the election, will represent them.
Saint John Deputy Mayor Shelley Rinehart is the Liberal candidate.
Acadian lawyer Joyce Richardson announced her intention last week to seek the NDP leadership and nomination for Saint John East, but says she recently learned she isn’t eligible to run in the byelection.
Richardson says she doesn’t meet the requirement that potential candidates be members of the party in good standing for two weeks before a nomination meeting is held.
The Green Party has chosen Sharon Murphy as its candidate.
Murphy was also the party’s candidate in the election, finishing almost 2,000 votes behind Keating.
With files from Laura Brown, Global News