Sheilagh O’Leary ‘surprised,’ will not seek NDP nomination in St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi

News that the new leader of the provincial New Democrats wanted to run in St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi was a surprise to Sheilagh O’Leary, who now says she will not seek the NDP nomination in that district.

In fact, O’Leary says she won’t be running in the upcoming provincial election at all. 

“I was certainly disappointed in how things played out,” O’Leary told CBC’s St. John’s Morning Show.

The party has decided to go in another direction and I respect that, even though I don’t necessarily agree with that decision.– Sheilagh O’Leary

“I was surprised, yes I was,” O’Leary added, of hearing the news Thursday that Alison Coffin would be running in the district, and veteran NDP MHA Lorraine Michael would step down.

O’Leary, who is the deputy mayor of St. John’s, announced earlier this month she planned to challenge Michael for the party’s nomination in the district.

Former NDP leader Lorraine Michael and current leader Alison Coffin at Thursday’s news conference announcing Michael will step aside so Coffin can run in the St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi district. (Katie Breen/CBC)

“My intent to announce certainly was not knee-jerk, it was something that I was thinking about for some time and certainly had had many conversations about,” she said, adding she also discussed the matter with Michael. 

“I’ve had several conversations with many people along the way,” she said. “I do my homework.”

O’Leary says she’s been a long-time supporter and 25-year member of the NDP, and will continue to support them.

“I certainly wish Lorraine all the best in her retirement … and I certainly wish the leader all the best, as well,” she said.

O’Leary was not at the announcement on Thursday, saying she was not invited to the event, but when she heard the news, she took the day to reassess what she wanted to do.

Before Coffin made the announcement, O’Leary said they met and had a “respectful discussion” about the decision.

She said before she had announced she would be running for the NDP nomination in St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi, she had a number of discussions with key people in party, and had made it clear she intended to run.

“I’m certainly disappointed in how things have played out. I’m a passionate, experienced and viable candidate,” O’Leary said. “But the party has decided to go in another direction and I respect that, even though I don’t necessarily agree with that decision. So it’s out of my hands.”

At no point, O’Leary said, was it suggested Coffin may also seek to run in that district; rather, there were talks of her running in other metro-area districts — St. John’s Centre, for example, where Gerry Rogers has announced she will not be seeking re-election as the NDP MHA.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Sheilagh O’Leary ‘surprised,’ will not seek NDP nomination in St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/sheilagh-o-leary-ndp-1.5057736?cmp=rss
Aggregated from: CBC | Newfoundland and Labrador News

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