Progressive Conservatives elected a new president and vice president as part of its annual meeting in Charlottetown Saturday.
Charlottetown business owner Blake Doyle narrowly won his bid for the presidency of the party over Sylvia Poirier, who was reoffering for the position. He won by just nine votes.
Doyle said he has many exciting ideas for the party. He said he believes the party will be able to go forward as a united organization.
“My sense is now this issue is behind us, that we can move forward together and I think everybody who aspired to be a Progressive Conservative can align under those values and present a viable alternative for the next election.”
The party also has a new vice president. Morell lawyer Michael Drake won over Geoffrey Connolly, who was reoffering, in a vote of 182 to 145.
Drake said he believes the election of a new president and vice president shows the party is looking for renewal.
“I think Geoff Connolly has done a wonderful job as vice president and Sylvia Poirier did a great job as president in difficult times… but I think the members thought that maybe this was the time for something new.”
Drake’s win is also a win for party leader Olive Crane, who narrowly escaped being subjected to a leadership review during the same meeting Saturday.
Drake worked on Crane’s leadership campaign two years ago and voted against the leadership review motion. His presence on the executive likely means Crane has his support for internal party work.
Doyle would not speak on the record about his position regarding the leadership review question, but Doyle is seen by many in the party as a Crane supporter as well.
Both men said they are excited by their victories and plan to hit the ground running in their new roles on the PC executive.
“Myself and the new president, we’ll be getting down to work right away and the goal will be to reach out to every member and to every Islander and to let them know the Progressive Conservative party is here and is prepared to win the next election,” Drake said.
Here is the vote breakdown
Total votes cast - 322
Poirier – 155
Spoiled – 3
Total votes cast - 328
Drake – 182
Connolly - 145
Spoiled – 1