Frank Coleman. — Photo by The Western Star
“I have a lot of respect for Bill Barry.”
Those were the words Frank Coleman, the now heir apparent premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, uttered when asked for his thoughts on Barry withdrawing from the PC leadership race.
Barry announced his decision in an email sent just before 6:30 a.m. today.
“He entered the race for all the right reasons. He’s passionate about his province. He loves his province. He offered himself for all the right reasons,” said Coleman.
Coleman was travelling in the Bonavista area, en route to Elliston, when reached by The Western Star later in the morning.
He said he had only learned of Barry’s decision to withdraw from the race about an hour before and had yet to find out any information on what the turn of events means for the upcoming leadership convention.
“So, I’m just trying to figure this out myself,” said Coleman, who noted he’d barely had time to discuss it with his team.
Coleman said his communications co-ordinator would be issuing a media release later in today.
Meanwhile, while many have started to crown Coleman as premier at least one person is saying that may be a premature move.
Wayne Bennett said on Twitter that he is not out of the race.
Bennett, a Howley town councillor, was kicked out of the leadership race because of racially insensitive postings on Twitter and for endorsing and NDP candidate in the Virginia Waters byelection.
In a series of Twitter messages Bennett said he is going to court to have the decision of the PC Party overturned.
When asked if anything official had been filed with the court yet, he replied: “No. It is a very involved process. Cannot do anything until total case is ready to filed w/court.”