Skinner, Kent preparing PC leadership nomination forms

James
James McLeod
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Potential candidates weighing their options

It’s getting down to the wire for PC party leadership aspirants, but right now, there’s still only one contender — Bill Barry — who’s definitively in the race.

Corner Brook resident Clarence Cantwell has also declared his intention to run.

But with nominations closing Friday, at least two potential candidates — former minister Shawn Skinner and current cabinet minister Steve Kent — are both collecting signatures and putting together a nomination package.

Both Kent and Skinner say they haven’t made a final decision, but with only a few days left, they’re pulling together the necessary nomination materials, just in case.

“I’ve probably made the decision a hundred times,” Skinner told The Telegram Monday.

“Fifty times I’ve woken up and said I’m doing it, and the other 50 times I’ve woken up and said I’m not doing it.”

He said he doesn’t expect a final decision to come until sometime Thursday.

Kent, similarly, sounded like a man who’s giving it serious thought, but he wasn’t ready to take the plunge just yet.

He didn’t want to talk policy with The Telegram, but he confirmed that he’s collecting nomination signatures and prepping a potential leadership bid.

He said when it comes to vision for the party, renewal and policy, that stuff will wait for later.

“The conversation that will ensue during the campaign is very much about the future of our province, and I look forward to building that future, whether it’s as a leadership candidate or as a member of caucus,” he said. “One way or another, I’ll be very active in the campaign, and I may very well be a candidate.”

Within political circles, a lot of the rumours and speculation swirled around west coast businessman Frank Coleman, who is reportedly considering a run at the leadership, but he’s being fairly media-shy about it.

The Telegram has left messages with Coleman’s office, but thus far he has not returned any calls.

Barry, the only candidate who’s filed his nomination papers, said he’d welcome Coleman getting into the race.

“I know Frank extremely well. I’ve known Frank since he was 10 years old. Frank is godfather to two of my children,” Barry said. “But, I mean, when something like this goes on, Frank has got his own determination as to what he wants to do, and that’s legitimately fine.”

Barry said that as the only confirmed candidate so far, he’s in a bit of a holding pattern now as he waits to see who his opponents are.

“You never really know somebody is in until they go file their nomination papers,” he said. “So, I mean, I’ve done that, and I guess we’ll just wait and see who else is in.”

Barry said he’s eager to get into the thick of campaigning, but if he doesn’t win the leadership, he won’t another avenue into politics.

He said if he’s not the leader, he won’t run for a seat in the House of Assembly.

“I’ve spent my entire life running a company and a big organization and a lot of people. I think that’s what I’m good at,” Barry said. “Honestly, for me, I feel that I have a contribution to make in the driver's seat. I’m not sure it work for me as an individual as a backbencher.”

 

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

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Recent comments

  • Ginn
    March 12, 2014 - 09:35

    Ah Graham! it's better to at least have a has been than a never been.........................

  • Dave Adey
    March 11, 2014 - 17:17

    Skinner went into an election coming off a tour of duty as Minister of natural Resources and Who Knows What Else and the voters gave him the boot. Then he shows up snotin' and bawlin' about how the company he is then affiliated with deserves the big contract at Muskrat Falls. That didn't work either. Take da hint my son. Then we got Mr. Kent...the man who held the province together during the January Blackouts of 2014. And you know what? He did it with his Blackberry from down in Florida. Kent's da man...well, sorta. Two goofs who should reconsider wasting peoples money and embarrassing themselves in public...again.

  • political watcher
    March 11, 2014 - 14:55

    Kent will not run. He is only staying around because he loves having his name in the media. Williams will not see Kent even get to the nomination process; he didnt want him in his Gov't. and he certainly doesn't want him any where near the ninth floor (not that there ever was any chance). I find it amusing that Kent thinks hs matters.

  • Keith
    March 11, 2014 - 14:19

    I see Mr. Williams (The Don) has already "made" Mr. Coleman and sees him as the logical successor. Unfortunately for "The Don" Mr. Coleman is already Godfather to Mr. Barry's kids. I can't help but wonder where Mr. Coleman's true allegiance lies. Then, of course, we have Steve "Lefty Ruggiero" Kent and Shawn "Jimmy Conway" Skinner. These two ever-loyal lapdogs are waiting for "The Don's" blessing before announcing candidacy but truly could never be "made men". But loyalty has its' own rewards...right boys???

    • Tony Rockel
      March 12, 2014 - 04:47

      Who's gonna get whacked?

  • charlie
    March 11, 2014 - 10:32

    Skinner and Kent are waiting to see if Coleman is going to run. If Coleman runs then they will not. So easy to see through. Unbelievable. If they really wanted it they would absolutely go for it.

  • Marshall Art
    March 11, 2014 - 10:20

    My God, how much more of this tension can we take ? The waiting, the anticipation, the stress, it's more than one can bear. Sean whassisname and Peter Kent and Clarence Kadiddlehopper are still weighing their options. Bill Barry must have his fingers gnawed to the bone wondering what those heavyweights are gonna do. lol

  • Graham
    March 11, 2014 - 09:13

    Wow!!!!What choices we have now...A HAS BEEN and a WANNA BE.. Oh well either one will be good opposition leaders after the next election.

  • Crazy
    March 11, 2014 - 05:30

    PC's leadership campaign is just as false, has the one put on by the liberals, PC's already know who their next leader is, Just that their pretending the people has a say into it. to look good.