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UPDATE: Liberal Kody Blois wins Kings-Hants election race


ELMSDALE, N.S. —

All eyes were on the Kings-Hants riding as election night polls closed.

It was the first time in nearly two decades that the incumbent MP wasn’t running for re-election — and Liberal candidate Kody Blois knew what big shoes he had to fill.

“Scott Brison, as I’m reminded on the doorstep, it’s not easy to fill those man’s shoes — and in fact no one will because the way in which Scott served this area, the way in which he endeared himself to the people, will not be easily replicated,” said Blois in his victory speech.

Blois said Brison was “a great mentor” and that he left a good template for him to follow.

As the numbers began trickling in, the people gathered at Blois’ campaign headquarters started to clap. They cheered when, with 50 of 233 polls in, CBC called the riding as Liberal. At that point in the evening, he led Conservative candidate Martha MacQuarrie by 1,229 votes.

Marney Bentley kept the poll wall at Kody Blois’ campaign headquarters up-to-date with information on election night. Checking the results is Dale Palmeter.
Marney Bentley kept the poll wall at Kody Blois’ campaign headquarters up-to-date with information on election night. Checking the results is Dale Palmeter.

Blois, accompanied by his fiancée Kimberly MacLachlan, arrived to fanfare shortly thereafter. His mother, Shelley Blois, and his grandmother, Bernice Bailey, had tears in their eyes.

When asked how proud she is, Bailey raised her hands in the air and said: “I’m right up in the air.” She said she was hoping he’d win. “I’m just so proud of him.”

In his celebratory speech, Blois thanked his strong support system and vowed to serve the region to the best of his ability. “Scott Brison, in his last address in Parliament, said ‘politics matters,’” said Blois.

“The reason I put my name forward is because I’m really passionate about the work I’ve done in the community and I see elected office and my role as Member of Parliament to serve people and to serve communities and I can think of no greater privilege.”

Before entering politics, Blois helped launch the East Hants Sport Heritage Society and the Come Home East Hants Association.

This was Blois’ first foray into politics.

He vouched to wake up early Tuesday to wave to constituents from Highway 101, and said he’d be visiting “every corner of the riding” as he gets to work.

GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT

Although she didn’t win the seat, Conservative candidate Martha MacQuarrie said she had the best team going.

Kings-Hants Conservative candidate Martha MacQuarrie, second from left, with family members and supporters at the Cornwallis Inn ballroom in Kentville.
Kings-Hants Conservative candidate Martha MacQuarrie, second from left, with family members and supporters at the Cornwallis Inn ballroom in Kentville.

“We ran a good campaign, it was clean, it was fun, and we worked very hard,” she said.

With all the votes yet to be tallied in other ridings, MacQuarrie said there were some tight races and she would continue cheering on her colleagues. She was hoping for a Conservative minority and told her supporters they may be back on the campaign trail within 18 months.

She said the best part of campaigning was getting to meet so many residents of the riding.

“There have been so many great people that I have met, so many great stories, so many people invited me into their homes and told me their personal stories,” MacQuarrie said. “It’s been wonderful.”

MacQuarrie said she already knew a lot about the constituents in the provincial riding of Kings North through working with MLA John Lohr and his office. She said she would continue work through Lohr’s office and volunteering in the community “to continue to represent my constituents here.”

She said there is “widespread concern” over the Liberal’s carbon tax and people are wondering how they’re going to get by financially while facing a heavier tax burden.

- With files from Kirk Starratt

Kody Blois addresses the crowd gathered at his Elmsdale campaign headquarters Oct. 21, taking time to thank his family and supporters. - Carole Morris-Underhill
Kody Blois addresses the crowd gathered at his Elmsdale campaign headquarters Oct. 21, taking time to thank his family and supporters. - Carole Morris-Underhill

FIVE FAST FACTS ABOUT KINGS-HANTS:

1. Kody Blois grew up in a working-class household in Hants County and was the first member of his family to attend university.
2. He completed degrees in commerce, law and public administration.
3. He was involved with the launching of the East Hants Sport Heritage Society and the Come Home East Hants Association. 
4. Kody Blois is running for the seat once held by retired MP Scott Brison. Brison, of Cheverie, began his political career as a Progressive Conservative in 1997. He crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party in 2003, and continued to represent Kings-Hants until Feb. 10, 2019.The Kings-Hants riding has predominantly been a Conservative stronghold.
5. The Kings-Hants riding was formed in 1968, with Tory Pat Nowlan holding power for 25 years. The seat went Liberal in 1993 when citizens elected John Murphy for one term. Brison was elected in 1997 and held the post until 2000 when he briefly stepped aside so PC leader Joe Clark could enter the House of Commons. Brison was re-elected in 2000 and 2003, crossed the floor to join the Liberals in 2003 and was subsequently re-elected as a Grit in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2015.
When Kody Blois spotted his family arriving at his campaign headquarters on election night, he rushed over to greet them. Bernice Bailey was eager to congratulate him on his Kings Hants win and says she is one proud grandma. - Carole Morris-Underhill
When Kody Blois spotted his family arriving at his campaign headquarters on election night, he rushed over to greet them. Bernice Bailey was eager to congratulate him on his Kings Hants win and says she is one proud grandma. - Carole Morris-Underhill

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