Who’s in, who’s not?

James McLeod
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Who's in, who's not?

The sprint is on. Only one day after Yvonne Jones formally stepped down as leader of the Liberal party, the race is on in earnest to replace her.

Nominations opened Wednesday and will close at noon Friday. The party executive says by Monday morning, a new leader will be anointed.

Wednesday afternoon, former MHA Danny Dumaresque ann-ounced he’ll be running to replace Jones.

Brad Cabana, who tried to run for the PC party leadership earlier this year, announced his candidacy via Twitter in the afternoon.

Some other heavy hitters seem to be waiting in the wings, including St. John’s lawyer Bern Coffey, who is expected to announce his candidacy today.

Prospective candidates will have to make up their minds quickly.

When Jones resigned due to health issues Tuesday, she left the Liberal party in a tight spot, only two months ahead of the provincial election.

Normally, the party’s constitution would require a full convention  with 45 days’ notice. But due to the time constraints, the party’s executive board drew up an expedited process Tuesday evening.

When nominations close Friday at noon, the party leadership will invite input from members across the province.

On Sunday, all the candidates will be asked to give a presentation to the party’s executive board.

Sunday evening, the board will weigh its options and pick the person who will lead the Liberals into the provincial election.

“We came up with what we thought to be very much a democratic process for the time frame we were working in,” Liberal party president Judy Morrow told The Telegram Wednesday.

“These are people that have been elected by the party members to represent them at this level, and deal with situations such as this.”

However, among some Liberals, there was grumbling the process doesn’t give rank-and-file members more of a say.

With only 48 hours to bow in or bow out, candidates were testing the waters Wednesday.

Heavyweights like former finance minister Lloyd Matthews and Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms declared they wouldn’t be running.

With Coffey expected to announce his candidacy today, all eyes will turn to former Liberal minister Chuck Furey, whose name has been talked about a lot by party members this week.

A source close to Furey downplayed expectations, saying he hasn’t had much time to consider it.

Others seemed to be waiting to make a decision based on who else is in the mix.

“I’m assessing it, I guess,” said Liberal MHA Marshall Dean. “There are names obviously, that if they came forward, I would be more interested in supporting than going against them.”

Mark Watton, who ran in a byelection in Corner Brook earlier this year, also said he was weighing his options.

“It’s hard to imagine having to pull something like that together in 48 hours, but we’ll see,” he said. “I mean, I haven’t ruled it out, but I certainly haven’t ruled it in.”

Online, many Liberals expressed their disappointment with the prospective candidates and started pushing for Siobhan Coady — who lost her federal seat in the May 2 election — to run provincially.

Coady said she’s not interested in running. Other federal Liberals, including Scott Andrews, Scott Simms and Gerry Byrne all said they would be staying out of the provincial arena.

But speaking to The Telegram, Byrne called on the government to delay the Oct. 11 provincial election to allow the Liberals more time to sort out their leadership situation.

“By sticking with the election date, I think it could easily be perceived that the other parties are simply now taking advantage, for their own interests,” he said. “I feel very strongly that, you know what, even a four-week delay would show a sign of fairness and actually be more in keeping with the spirit of the fixed election day act.”

Government House leader Joan Burke said postponing the election isn’t going to happen.

“Everyone has known since December 2004 the exact date of this election coming up, and at that time, all parties agreed to fixed elections,” she said. “The Liberals certainly emphasized that they liked the legislation and the process that was being introduced because they felt that it could not be manipulated.”



Twitter: TelegramJames

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Corner Brook, Government House

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Recent comments

  • pierce
    August 11, 2011 - 19:18

    siobhan coady has not ruled it out, there should not be an X by her name, she would be a great leader and the only person who could save the ship from sinking a this point

  • You're Not Serious
    August 11, 2011 - 13:02

    To begin a press conference by saying "I am 51 years old and healthy....and I want to be your leader"!!!! Are you serious?? Way to win public opinion Danny 'Dumb'aresque... to use you good health as leverage against someone else's misfortune. Disgusting!!!!

  • need a good choice
    August 11, 2011 - 12:27

    I cannot believe that Brad Cabana is trying to run in the election, who would take him seriously, Pc did not want him, what makes him think the liberals will, for sure the great people of the Province will not. He should go back where he came from.

  • Whas That
    August 11, 2011 - 11:47

    Did Noseworthy say 'he was offered the job ands turned it down"? Not sure if that was possible but that level of arrogance may suit him for such a position.

  • citizen
    August 11, 2011 - 11:28

    this Cabana guy must have no principles, no shame, no scruples and gonads the size of Gros Morne, a self serving shyster if there ever was one... hmmm, actually he'd make a perfect politician and premier... as for Hillier- Please no .....stick to the speaking and book signing circuit... Randy Simms?- i'd rather stick a 1/2 inch spinning drill bit in my eye than see his name at he top of the hill of beans.. heck it just might force me leave the island from embarrassment! Too bad Coady, the only viable mentionable is not interested.. shows her good sense.. Good Grief, looks 4 more years of smug, Conservative leadership , never thought i'd be missing Danny...

  • Jon
    August 11, 2011 - 11:11

    The only issue I would have with Rick Hillier is that he is a die hard Leaf fan...LOL. Interesting times ahead.

  • Here's an idea
    August 11, 2011 - 10:47

    I think the best option for both opposition parties would be to cooperate together in taking down the Newfoundland Conservatives. Not an official merger, just a united effort to defeat the ruling party, and bring about some much needed democratic change. Society changes, technology changes, the economy changes, yet our political system remains pathetically antiquated. A better way is possible. It is up to us to create it. Here's to hoping the next Liberal leader will have the courage to speak the truth, and put real democratic change ahead of silly partisanship.

  • Barry
    August 11, 2011 - 10:35

    Of all the faces with questions marks on them up top, I think Paul Antle will be the best choice to lead this party back to the top. He is a new face who has a wealth of knowledge about our province and people. I sure hope he is considering making a run for it.

  • Just Saying
    August 11, 2011 - 10:29

    Go Rick Hillier!! This is the man for the job. Well spoken, respected, born leader. He would win no doubt and those foolish PC's would be no more. Come on Rick we need you. I am sure he wouldn't be dancing around on stage with Stevie like Blunderdale did. Go RIck Go Rick!!!

  • Calvin
    August 11, 2011 - 09:34

    PC Party victory with NDP opposition looks just fine to me. Liberal party, provincially and federally, are in for some tough times.

    • Train
      August 11, 2011 - 10:09

      A lot of people are complaining about how the Liberals could even consider the candidates that are coming forward (Dumaresque and Cabana). The end of the Liberal party they say. People are forgetting that it is an open and democratic process and that anyone is invited to submit their candidacy. Just because a candidacy is submitted doesn't mean it will be seriously considered. The real players will come out in the next 24 hours once they've evaluated the situation.

  • DON
    August 11, 2011 - 08:58

    I look forward to the return of the hangers on of the coat tails of Clyde Wells and Brian Tobin like Chuck Furey and Danny Dumaresque because of the fun that Kathy Dunderdale and the PC's will have trotting out all of the dirty laundry and skeletons in the closet from those days. The Liberal Party had better find new people to run who don't have the kind of baggage that some of the Wells and Tobin cronies have to lug around. This is a make or break decision for the Liberal Party and they had better make the right and wisest choice. Otherwise, the Liberals can look forward to many years of sitting in near empty opposition seats! The best of luck Liberals in choosing your new leader, you are going to need it.

  • LS
    August 11, 2011 - 08:35

    Ditto for Rick Hillier....don't care which party, but he should be our next premier! Steve would love that.

    August 11, 2011 - 08:11


  • Frank M
    August 11, 2011 - 07:54

    Furey,.Coady, Dumeresque, Watton, all defeated by voters and removed from office. Without a new face and credibility for. Their party, the Liberals are facing the end of their party. Go with the only credible new face mentioned in the article -Bern Coffey.

    • Charlie
      August 11, 2011 - 13:13

      Burnt Coffee...hard to take seriously...well maybe a good fix for the Liberals though...who takes them seriously??

  • jason
    August 11, 2011 - 07:48

    Why does Brad Cabana think he deserves a shot to be leader of a provincial party and possibly end up as Newfoundlands next premier? is this guy for real? I just hope we dont have to hear him over the air waves as much as last year complaining about the process and how the new leader was chosen. Guess he will get his free advertising/Campaigning and then decide to run in a district. Is he a PC or a Liberal? maybe NDP?

  • Eli
    August 11, 2011 - 07:40

    Furey skipped town two steps ahead of the sheriff's questioning regarding his friskiness with HIS constitituency allowance spending. Again, Gerry Byrne is out to lunch.

  • Michelle
    August 11, 2011 - 07:31

    How desperate must the Liberal party be if they would actually consider Brad Cabana for leader of the party.

  • Foghorn
    August 11, 2011 - 06:48

    Byrne is a blow-hard who just couldn't let the opportunity to blabber off go. I hope the Grits find a new fresh face instead of some old recycled career politician.

  • Give us an alternative
    August 11, 2011 - 06:43

    Randy Simmms? Siobahn Coady? Danny Dumaresque? Brad Cabana??? None have what it takes to lead our province. Rick Hillier would be an excellent candidate and would have a legitimate chance of leading the Liberals to an election victory. Wouldn't that change the water on the beans?