UPDATE: Kent confirms working with Davis in Tory leadership race

James McLeod jmcleod@thetelegram.com
Published on August 13, 2014
From left, Steve Kent, Paul Davis and John Ottenheimer are the three Newfoundalnd PC leadership candidates. — Telegram file photos

As the delegate selection part of the Progressive Conservative leadership winds down, there are accusations of backroom deals and alliances being formed.

Steve Kent denied that there’s a formal alliance between his campaign and the Paul Davis camp, but at the same time, he confirmed that on at least a couple occasions, the two candidates have co-ordinated efforts and run a joint slate of delegates.

“I’m no king maker. I truly am in this race to win, and that necessitates strategic decisions each and every day of the campaign, in order to win as many delegates as possible,” Kent said. “In a couple of cases, it has been the best way to win it.”

The Ottenheimer camp believes that coming out of the delegate selection meetings, they have the lead and Kent is far back in third place.

On Tuesday morning, Kent took to Twitter and appeared to deny any sort of alliance between the two candidates.

“I am not teamed up with any other camp. I have a positive relationship  with both opponents. I'm in this race to win it,” Kent said.

But speaking to the Telegram, he said that strategic decisions have to be made.

“Every single night is different,” he said. “Some nights you run a full slate. Some nights you runa  partial slate. Some nights you don’t run any slate at all. That’s the nature of this.”

A source in the Davis camp said there may have also been some overlap between the slates of candidates that Davis and Kent are running, but that doesn’t mean it’s a formal alliance.

Because it’s a competitive convention, the PC Party has placed hard limits on who can attend the convention in September. Only registered delegates or ex-officio members of the party are allowed to attend.

Normally, Tory conventions are a big party, and a chance for members of the grassroots to cut loose and have fun.

For many longtime volunteers in the PC Party, the Davis campaign worker explained, getting on somebody’s slate is the only way to get to go to the convention, and that might explain why the same delegate candidates are ending up on multiple slates.

The final delegate selection meetings for the PC Party leadership are happening today and Thursday. The Tory convention is happening in St. John’s on Sept. 13.

With the delegate selection meetings wrapping up, candidates are turning their attention towards a series of debates scheduled for the next few weeks.

Kent said he believes that those debates will be a chance for candidates to pick up a few of undecided supporters.

“I want to show people in the party — particularly the delegates that will be coming to convention — that I’m our best shot at winning the election against Dwight Ball and the Liberals in 2015,” he said. “From my perspective, the debates can’t happen fast enough.”

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(Earlier story)

Kent denies alliance with Davis amid accusations

As the delegate selection part of the Progressive Conservative leadership winds down, there are accusations of backroom deals and alliances being formed.

A senior source within the John Ottenheimer campaign said, at several delegate selection meetings recently, the Paul Davis and Steve Kent campaigns have been running joint slates of delegates.

The Ottenheimer camp believes that coming out of the delegate selection meetings, they have the lead and Kent is far back in third place.

On Tuesday morning, Kent took to Twitter to publicly deny any sort of alliance between the two candidates.

“I am not teamed up with any other camp. I have a positive relationship  with both opponents. I'm in this race to win it,” Kent said.

A source in the Davis camp said there may be some overlap between the slates of candidates that Davis and Kent are running, but that doesn’t mean it’s a formal alliance.

Because it’s a competitive convention, the PC Party has placed hard limits on who can attend the convention in September. Only registered delegates or ex-officio members of the party are allowed to attend.

Normally, Tory conventions are a big party, and a chance for members of the grassroots to cut loose and have fun.

For many longtime volunteers in the PC Party, the Davis campaign worker explained, getting on somebody’s slate is the only way to get to go to the convention, and that might explain why the same delegate candidates are ending up on multiple slates.

The final delegate selection meetings for the PC Party leadership are happening today and Thursday. The Tory convention is happening in St. John’s on Sept. 13.