A thirst for change. That’s how the victor in the St. George’s-Stephenville East byelection summed up his win Tuesday — but it was also how the runner-up described it.
The unofficial results from Elections Newfoundland and Labrador showed Scott Reid of the Liberals finishing with 2,211 votes, Wally Childs of the Progressive Conservatives with 948, and the NDP’s Bernice Hancock with 579.
As he went door to door during the election campaign, Reid said he got the feeling people in some areas of the district were looking for change.
“It was actually humbling to have such support in the district,” he said.
Childs said people told him they wanted change and they got it. He said he plans to hold Reid’s feet to the fire to be true to some of the things he said during the campaign.
Childs got the feeling during the campaign that people felt neglected and wanted something different.
“If I’ve helped out people by just running in this campaign, then the whole exercise in democracy has been a success,” Childs said.
He said politics is one of the things that was on his bucket list and, while it was an “awesome” experience, he’s not sure whether he’ll run again.
Reid said he didn’t take anything for granted during the campaign and went to every voter he could reach, listened to the people and heard what they had to say.
He said the people of the province are ready for change and are looking to Ball to do it.
Reid’s plan now is to move back to the district, where he’s lived the longest portion of his life.
“It’s my home, make no mistake about that,” he said. “It’s the place that shaped who I am.”
Reid sees opportunities in the district in agriculture, the Stephenville airport, Port Harmon in Stephenville and small business ventures.
He feels it’s important to get involved and make a difference in a positive way and thinks he can do that in his new position as member of the house of assembly.
While Ball was obviously pleased with the win — which brings the number of Liberals in the House of Assembly up to 13 — he said even with the general election within the next year, his party is not taking anything for granted.
He said the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have the last say and his party will be back with nominations after Labour Day.