The Progressive Conservative Party has its candidate in the riding of Montague-Kilmuir.
After a hotly contested nomination race, which saw four candidates vying to be the party’s candidate, 27-year-old Cory Deagle won a party vote decisively on Tuesday night at the Kaylee Hall.
Deagle drew 202 votes, beating out fellow candidates Adam Martell, Sharon Riley and Wendy Hopkins Foote on the first ballot.
The vote was unusually well attended for a nomination contest. While contested nomination votes for the Liberals and PCs often draw 100-200 people, a total of 402 ballots were cast by PC members during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Deagle, who currently works as a researcher for the Office of the Official Opposition, is a former vice-president of the PC party.
The district is currently represented in the legislature by Liberal Allen Roach. Roach will not be running in the next election.
Deagle will face off against former Montague councillor Daphne Griffin, the Liberal candidate in the district. The Green party and the New Democratic Party have yet to nominate candidates in Montague-Kilmuir.
Deagle credited his role as a coach with minor hockey and soccer teams as a factor in his nomination win. He said his volunteer role helped him speak to and sign up parents as PC party members.
"It took about eight months, a lot of door knocking, signing up members. People want to see a face, right? They want you at the door, and that's what I did," he told The Guardian.
“People were looking for someone young.”
In a speech to members before the vote, Deagle spoke about the support he received from his mother while growing up in the region.
"Like many families, mine was no stranger to hard times growing up. My mother is the epitome of strength. She worked hard to raise four kids on her own," Deagle said.
Deagle highlighted a number of local issues in the speech, including the state of the Montague consolidated and intermediate schools, needed supports for seniors and wait times for complex medical procedures such as hip replacement surgery.
But he said ongoing closure of the emergency room at Kings County Memorial Hospital was a dominant local concern.
"At almost every door I was at, I heard about the emergency room being closed at eight o'clock," Deagle said.
During a speech to party members, PC Leader Dennis King drew a parallel between the recent PC leadership race, in which he bested four other candidates, and the activity generated by the contested nomination contest.
"When you have momentum in politics, good things happen to your side," King said.
"We have momentum. We built it during the leadership race with five tremendous candidates who brought so much to the fold. We're doing it tonight in Montague-Kilmuir."
Allen Roach defeated PC candidates in Montague-Kilmuir in 2011 and 2015. However, PC candidates held the riding in the four previous elections, defeating Liberals in 1996, 2000, 2003 and 2007.
The electoral boundaries for the district have been changed and will be slightly different in the coming election.