The New Brunswick Liberal Party is once again looking for a candidate to carry their banner in the pending St. Croix byelection.
Late on Thursday, Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers released a statement saying that he had been informed by Karen Ludwig, the Liberal candidate for the seat, that she would be stepping down.
Ludwig will instead be accepting a position with Yorkville University in Fredericton.
“While we are disappointed to be losing Karen as our candidate, we understand that this decision was not an easy one and was borne of Karen’s passion as an educator,” said Vickers in a statement.
Ludwig served as the MP for New Brunswick Southwest for four years until she was defeated in the 2019 federal election.
The St. Croix byelection was scheduled to be held this spring but has been put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is hard to ask someone to put their life on hold indefinitely and so Karen’s decision to accept this exciting career opportunity is understandable,” said Vickers.
Vickers said the party will begin the process to select another candidate to represent the party and urged Premier Blaine Higgs to call the St. Croix byelection, as well as the byelection for Shediac Bay-Dieppe, before the fall sitting while taking into account the advice from New Brunswick health officials.
“St. Croix has been too long without representation in the legislative assembly,” Vickers said.
The two vacant seats are critical to the survival of Higgs’ Conservative government.
Should the PCs fail to secure at least one of the two seats, they would no longer hold the most seats in the legislature, which would make it extremely difficult to pass confidence motions like budgets.
With files from Silas Brown