Falling by the wayside

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Another prospective candidate for the provincial Tory leadership has decided not to join the fray. Fray though may too strong a word for what has taken place so far in a week when cabinet minister Darin King declined to enter the race.

Only Corner Brook businessman Bill Barry has put his name forward since the resignation of former premier Kathy Dunderdale opened the job.

Others continue to explore their options but Barry has many weeks of campaigning under his belt with no opponent to share the spotlight.

Barry’s only real opposition so far has come from another former premier, Danny Williams, who made it clear that he was no fan of Barry’s style or his vision of the future of the party and the province.

This is an odd turn of events for the party, which has had more than a decade running the province, along the way winning solid majorities in general elections.

There are obvious challenges for the next leader to overcome, but it’s strange that all high-profile ministers touted as having leadership aspirations are shying away from turning the party’s fortunes around. One other name that has expressed interest in running is Frank Coleman, another west coast businessman and party outsider like Barry.

Coleman’s own deadline for making a decision is fast approaching and he could still make a race of it, even though he will have less time to attract votes. Though not well known in political circles, Coleman would be seen as capable and not as radical as the firebrand Barry, so he might just be more acceptable to those Tories members who would prefer a safer choice.

The date for the convention has been chosen and the rules have been laid out by the PC executive. All that the provincial Tories need now are more candidates — and a real race.

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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