TRURO - A Truro native will once again lead Nova Scotia Tories.
Jamie Baillie was the only person to file his nomination papers by Monday's 5 p.m. deadline. He will not officially become leader until a convention set for Oct. 29 and 30 at the Cunard Centre in Halifax. When he does become leader it will be the first time a Truro native will lead the party since G.I. (Ike) Smith.
"He's the right person at the right time," East Mountain resident Dianne Kelderman said Monday. "He's young. He represents a new generation. He represents the future of the province."
Kelderman, who has been the party's executive vice-president for about a year, has known Baillie for about a decade and considers him both a business colleague and friend.
She said he brings the right mix of business and government experience. He served three years as former premier John Hamm's chief of staff and currently is the chief executive officer for Credit Union Atlantic.
"He's a people person," Kelderman said. "He's as comfortable out in the community with charitable and voluntary groups as he is in the boardroom of multi-million dollar companies."
Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Karen Casey submitted her letter of resignation as leader late Monday. It takes effect immediately.
"Last June, Karen Casey accepted one of the most difficult jobs in politics – serving as an opposition party leader in the wake of a significant election defeat," said president Rob Batherson. "... I know I speak for many in saying thanks to Karen for the countless hours she has put in crossing the province, in addition to fulfilling her responsibilities as party leader in the legislature and MLA for Colchester North."
Under the party's constitution members of the Progressive Conservative Caucus will select a new interim leader, subject to a vote by the provincial executive, who will hold office until the leadership convention at the end of October.
Baillie announced he would seek the party's leadership in early June in Dartmouth and came to his hometown that evening to share the news with the local community.
He volunteered in 1984 to help in both the federal and provincial election campaigns and has been involved in every campaign since then.