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UPDATE: Bob Doiron to run for governing Liberals in District 11 byelection

Charlottetown city councillor Bob Doiron, left, poses for a photo with Premier Wade MacLauchlan and Doiron's fellow Liberal nominee Marcia Carroll, right, on Monday night. Doiron was selected as the candidate for the impending District 11, Charlottetown-Parkdale byelection to replace former Education minister Doug Currie. Taking the photo is cabinet liaison Nancy MacPhee. (Teresa Wright/The Guardian)
Charlottetown city councillor Bob Doiron, left, poses for a photo with Premier Wade MacLauchlan and Doiron's fellow Liberal nominee Marcia Carroll, right, on Monday night. Doiron was selected as the candidate for the impending District 11, Charlottetown-Parkdale byelection to replace former Education minister Doug Currie. Taking the photo is cabinet liaison Nancy MacPhee. (Teresa Wright/The Guardian)

Charlottetown city councillor Bob Doiron will be carrying the governing party’s banner when an imminent provincial byelection is called in Charlottetown-Parkdale.

Eighty ballots were cast during the Liberal nomination meeting Monday night at Birchwood Intermediate School, with Doiron emerging the majority winner over hopeful Marcia Carroll.

Doiron admits he was surprised by the result.

“I’m new to this,” he said.

“I was against a good candidate, she worked hard … and I don’t know anything about politics. I get involved, I work hard, I put myself out there and I’m very surprised when people put their trust in me.”

RELATED: Hannah Bell will run for P.E.I. Green party in District 11 byelection

The evening drew over 200 attendees, including almost all of the Liberal caucus and a number of party and government staffers and supporters.

But most of those in attendance could not vote, as only members who live in District 11 who had renewed their memberships within the last five years were eligible to cast a ballot.

Since the nomination process began just one week ago, candidates were not able to sign up new members to vote for them, as Liberal constitution rules stipulate members must have a party membership card for at least 10 days before being allowed to vote in a nomination convention.

This meant Doiron and Carroll could only campaign for votes among the 200 existing eligible members in the district.

Doiron was emotional when speaking to reporters after the result was announced, citing the whirlwind six-day campaign.

He said he dreamed of running provincially, but he was not expecting that day would come so soon.

“It was a sudden thing, so this was my opportunity in my life, and I took a chance and I worked hard, and I’m so thankful to the people of this district and I hope I can work my whole body off for them and keep this seat.”

 

“It was a sudden thing, so this was my opportunity in my life, and I took a chance and I worked hard, and I’m so thankful to the people of this district and I hope I can work my whole body off for them and keep this seat.”
-Bob Doiron

 

Premier Wade MacLauchlan made a point of indicating he would not use his opportunity at the podium Monday to announce the byelection date.

But he did say it would be coming soon and appealed to members to work for the party to ensure the seat vacated by former Liberal cabinet minister Doug Currie’s resignation earlier this month remains Liberal.

“This byelection is going to be important,” MacLauchlan said.

“It will be an opportunity… for our government and caucus to have an opportunity, through this byelection, to have a vote of confidence and an opportunity to ensure that our party and that this district and our government have the momentum to ensure that Islanders have the opportunity to express their confidence in what we’re doing as a government.”

RELATED: P.E.I. opposition parties concerned about rush to nominate candidates for byelection

Carroll, who was widely considered the frontrunner in the race, congratulated Doiron on his win Monday night, saying she would support Doiron as the official Liberal candidate for District 11.

Doiron was so overwhelmed by the win, he cut short his interview with reporters after the event, saying he wanted to spend time with his family.

“I’m so happy and overwhelmed, just glad and happy to be part of the Liberal party.”

He said he plans to stay on as a city councillor until the writ is dropped and then will ask Charlottetown CAO Peter Kelly for permission to take a 30-day leave of absence.

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