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Province’s first openly gay MLA captures Zinck’s past riding of Dartmouth North

Joanne Bernard made headlines in September when she received homophobic hate mail.
Joanne Bernard made headlines in September when she received homophobic hate mail. Nova Scotia Liberal Party

Alice Housing Executive Director Joanne Bernard has swept up Trevor Zinck’s former riding for the Liberals. Bernard will be the province’s first openly gay MLA.

She is currently nabbing 44 per cent of the vote.

Human Rights consultant Steve Estey is trailing with 30.2 per cent for the NDP and former Dartmouth police officer Séan Brownlow has 25.8 per cent for the PCs.

Bernard made headlines in September when she received homophobic hate mail targeting her sexual orientation calling her “gross”. In her candidate biography, Bernard mentions that she has been married to her wife Annette for almost five years.

On Sept. 23, Bernard responded to the hate mail by tweeting from her candidate Twitter account:

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ABOVE: Joanne Bernard says she expected some backlash, but receiving a blatantly homophobic letter still wasn’t easy

This middle-class neighbourhood has belonged to the NDP since 1998 when Jerry Pye won the seat and held it until 2006.  Trevor Zinck then won the job, only to fumble it after he was caught defrauding  the province and local charities to the tune of $9,000, filing expense claims for charity donations and sponsorships he never made.

Zinck was booted from the NDP caucus, and pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust last June. His sentence will be issued the day after the election.

Zinck said he would run again as an Independent, but his name never appeared on the ballot.

With files from Global News’ Katrina Pyne