PORT AUX BASQUES — Having a father involved in provincial politics means Andrew Parsons knows what comes with the job.
And that hasn’t swayed the 32-year-old son of Kelvin Parsons from wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“I guess one of the positive things when your father or a family member is involved, you know what goes with the job. I’m fully aware of what goes into this. The commitment that’s needed the travel that goes into it and we’re prepared to do it and we’re confident we can do it well.”
On June 14, after 13 years in office, Kelvin Parsons announced he would not be seeking re-election for the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador in the district of Burgeo-LaPoile in this fall’s general election.
Just over a week later his son was successful in his nomination bid to represent the district.
Parsons said running for politics is something that he’s thought about for a long time.
“I mean, obviously, it seems it’s in the blood. I sort of grew up with it. It’s something that’s always piqued my interest and it’s something that I’ve known for a while that I wanted to do.”
Parsons said watching his father over the years, how he worked with people and seeing the things he did on behalf of people did play a role in his decision.
“I sort of have the same motivation.”
When his father stepped down, Parsons said “it just seemed like a logical step for me to make a move.”
And he’s confident the people will see him for who he is, Andrew Parsons, and not just Kelvin Parsons’s son.
“If people are going to vote me in, they’re going to have to vote me in on my merits. It’s got nothing whatsoever to do with my father. Now, if they want to look at me positively or negatively because of that, that’s their choice.
“I am going to run on my own merits and the people are going to make a decision based on that,” he said.
“I think I can be a strong voice on the provincial level and I think I have a lot to add to just the various issues that face not only this area but the entire province.”
Making the move to political life is not the only big event to happen recently in Parsons’s life.
He and his wife Erin welcomed their first child, Michael, seven months ago.
Having such a young family is something Parsons said was factored into his decision to run.
“It’s something that obviously had to be carefully considered”
The decision to run was not made “on a whim,” and Parsons said he discussed it with family and friends.
“It was agreed this was the right move. We could do this. “