Sarah Stewart-Clark has withdrawn her candidacy for the Progressive Conservative Party of Prince Edward Island for District 9 Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park.
On Sunday evening, Stewart-Clark, a long-time advocate for equality, inclusion, mental illness and science-based decision-making, informed Premier Dennis King of her intention to withdraw her candidacy, citing personal and family commitments.
“I am extremely grateful to the residents of Charlottetown-Hillsborough for their trust in me over the past year as their PC candidate for our district. It has been one of the best experiences of my life to have been part of the PC team, and I am proud of the party’s growth and success under Premier King,” said Stewart-Clark in a press release.
“I made a commitment to this party 18 months ago and, in the process, to dedicate my efforts to this important journey, I had to put my life as a mother, a wife and professor on hold. Over the past few weeks I’ve come to the realization that the best decision for me and my family is for me to resign as a candidate. I am willing to sacrifice a lot to serve our province, but the one thing I am not willing to sacrifice is my son's well-being.”
Stewart-Clark said she spoke with King on May 26 and informed him of her decision.
“Though disappointed, the premier was gracious, kind and respectful in his understanding of my decision. Like me, the premier is a dedicated parent of young children and I have appreciated the personal friendship we have built over the past months.”
King said Stewart-Clark has been integral to the party’s recent resurgence, and her resignation leaves a void.
“Throughout the party leadership and in the months since, Sarah brought a unique perspective on important policy initiatives that helped position our party for electoral success. I have appreciated her contributions and I value her friendship,” said King.
King advised that the provincial executive would be meeting to formalize the next steps around the nomination of a candidate for the deferred election in District 9 Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park.
Under the Elections Act, the deferred election must be held by July 19.