TRURO – The provincial red tide swept into Colchester North last night as Liberal Karen Casey re-claimed her seat in the legislature.
© Matthew Veno – Truro Daily News
Karen Casey waves to a crowd of about 100 people at Onslow-Belmont Fire Hall Tuesday after learning she had been re-elected by the voters of Colchester North. The Liberal incumbent won the riding with 60.95 per cent of the vote over Progressive Conservative candidate John K. MacDonald and the NDP’s Jim Wyatt.
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Casey’s win puts to rest an issue raised several times during the campaign by the opposition that crossing the floor in 2011 would hurt her chances for a win.
“I’ll tell you, I am just so thankful to my constituents for their vote of support,” said the incumbent MLA. She had watched the poll results from her home in Valley accompanied by her husband Glen along with children, grandchildren, siblings and other family.
“This was a time for them (voters) to say ‘we like her, we like what she’s doing.”
Casey, 67, is a three-time MLA for the riding, first elected to the legislative assembly in June of 2006 and served as education minister until a cabinet shuffle in January, 2009, when she was appointed to the health portfolio.
After a short stint as interim leader of the PC party, and completion of a tour around the province hosting meetings to connect with residents, Casey’s long-time affiliation with the party was severed in January 2011 when she crossed the floor and became a member of the Liberal Party.
Under the Tory reign, Casey held the province’s two largest portfolios, education and health.
As the Liberals move forward with a majority, Casey said she will “do whatever Premier McNeill wants me to do, whatever I can contribute to my government.
“If I am in Cabinet, that would be wonderful, if I am in caucus I’ll do whatever I can to make this majority work.”
Defeated Progressive Conservative candidate John K. MacDonald said he was “discouraged and disappointed” as he watched the last of the polls numbers arrive at his Pictou Road campaign office.
“I certainly would sum it up as an experience that I am very, very pleased I participated in this election,” said MacDonald, a first-time provincial election candidate.
“I give Kudos to Karen.”
He was especially disappointed with results from polling stations in the Tatamagouche area.
“I put my heart and soul into that community and they let me down.”
While his many days and kilometers travelled on the campaign trail throughout the riding didn’t translate into a win, MacDonald said “my team was phenomenal.”
“We tried our best and we worked very hard.”
NDP candidate Jim Wyatt said his first-time campaign was a great experience and an education as he toured the riding but he is disappointed with the NDP results overall.
“I think the results province wide are a disappointment for me,” said Wyatt, who watched the night’s poll count from his campaign office on Phillip Street in Truro. “Karen Casey has performed as an MLA for more than eight years now and has done a great job and will continue to do a great job.”
He also said “I think it’s disappointing the NDP didn’t get a chance to continue the work they were doing but the people have spoken.”
The Casey was one of 44 women to run in the election, and garnered more than 60.95 per cent of the vote, out-polling first time candidates John K. MacDonald, 26.39 per cent and NDP Jim Wyatt, 12.66 per cent.
Click here for the results from the Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River riding, and here for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley results. For the story on the new Liberal government, click here; see comments from the leader of the official opposition here; and comments from NDP leader Darrell Dexter here.
Following are the results of voting in Colchester North:
Oct. 8, 2013
Eligible voters: 13,813
Per cent of voter turnout: 59.78 per cent
Karen Casey LIB - 5,005 (60.95 per cent votes cast)
John K. MacDonald PC- 2,167 (per cent)
Jim Wyatt NDP- 1,040 (per cent)
Total votes cast: 8,212
June 9, 2009
Eligible voters: 13,403
Karen Casey PC 3,784
Arthur Hartlen NDP 2,354
Lorenda Ebbett LIB 1,243
Judy Davis GRN 163
June 13, 2006
Karen Casey PC 3,809 (50.96 per cent votes cast)
Rob Assels NDP 1,511 (20.21 per cent)
Bob Taylor Liberal 1,979 (26.47 per cent)
Judy Davis Green 176 (2.35 per cent)