Well now, talk about an exciting campaign, right from the get go! We now have both Ryan Cleary and a former co-worker of his, Craig Westcott, running for a Federal seat. This is the most excitement I've had in my outport life for at least 15 days (hubby home again in five)
Wonder how the hunters will handle being the hunted down the road when the spotlight is on them? Cleary is not a man to buckle under pressure and from what I hear (and read) neither is Westcott.
What an election this is shaping up to be.
Like me ma used to say...better than sex my dear, better than sex!
ST..JOHNS (CBC) - A journalist who has often been a thorn in Danny Williams's side will represent the Conservatives in St. John's East, in part to challenge the Newfoundland and Labrador premier.
Craig Westcott, who publishes the Business Post newspaper and who is a commentator for CBC Radio, said he made the decision last week over Williams's "anyone but Conservative" platform, in which the premier is encouraging Newfoundland and Labrador voters to boycott Conservative candidates in the Oct. 14 election.
Williams has been furious with Prime Minister Stephen Harper since 2006, when Harper walked away from written election promises to exclude non-renewable resources - which include Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore energy reserves - from the equalization formula.
Westcott, who has sparred with Williams for years, said voters should be careful about the consequences of following Williams's advice on the so-called ABC campaign.
"Who is going to speak for Newfoundland and Labrador if we have nobody inside that government?" Westcott said.
"It's just - I think it's unconscionable on the premier's part to put Newfoundland in that very, very weak position," said Westcott, who nonetheless said his campaign will be based on running for the Conservative Party of Canada, not against Danny Williams.
Williams, who led his Progressive Conservatives to a landslide victory in last October's provincial election, has vowed to deliver a "big goose egg" to the federal Tories.
In part because of Williams's ABC campaign, federal Conservatives have been unable to find candidates in some ridings, including in St. John's East, currently held by retiring Tory Norm Doyle.
In fact, Westcott did not make a decision about running until he interviewed Doyle last Thursday.
"And then there was this big pregnant pause, this moment, where, you know, we both kind of realized that I would be a good candidate for this federal election," said Westcott.
A former reporter with the St. John's Telegram, Westcott has often written critically of Williams and his governing style at the Business Post, as well as with regular radio commentaries. He said he had been considering a political run for a while, and made the decision after no one else stepped forward.
"Someone has to bite the bullet," he said.
Westcott will face Liberal candidate Walter Noel, a former provincial cabinet minister.
The New Democrats have not yet nominated a candidate, although former provincial NDP leader Jack Harris - who represented St. John's East in the House of Commons for a year after winning a 1987 byelection - is expected to seek the party's nomination.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives appear to have lined up a candidate for the adjacent riding of St. John's South-Mount Pearl, which is represented by retiring Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn.
Merv Wiseman, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture, is poised to become the party's candidate, sources said. When contacted by CBC News, Wiseman would neither confirm nor deny that he will run in the election.
Westcott is not the only St. John's journalist running in the general election. Ryan Cleary, editor of the St. John's Independent, which closed this summer, is representing the NDP in St. John's South-Mount Pearl.