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Hutchings building her team for federal election

Gudie Hutchings has passed the first hurdle to representing the people of the new Long Range Mountains federal riding, and she’s ready to move on to the next one — winning the seat in the next federal election.

Gudie Hutchings at the Rotary Club of Corner Brook in February 2015. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

Hutchings was declared the official candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada on Monday morning following the nomination vote that concluded over the weekend.

The Corner Brook businesswoman beat out lawyer Mark Watton for the win.

The first thing Hutchings did after learning of her win was to thank her team for their efforts, and for believing in and supporting her.

Hutchings didn’t have any firm numbers from the vote when she spoke to The Western Star, but said the nomination process “was a good thing” for the party.

Between Hutchings and Watton some 2,700 people signed on as supporters of the party.

“It doesn’t matter who you voted for or who signed you up, at the end of the day we’re all Liberals.”

The vote count took much of the weekend to complete. Counting started at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Cathedral in Corner Brook and went to 4 a.m. Sunday. The count resumed Sunday afternoon and didn’t ended until after 8 a.m. Monday.

Despite the time it took, Hutchings said the doing the mail-in ballot gave everybody in the district a chance to vote.

“From the democratic process I think this is fairer.”  

See related: Exhausted Watton holds head high in defeat

Moving from the nomination process to the election, Hutchings is looking forward to learning more about the issues the party is focused on. She also wants to connect with the people of the Long Range Mountains to hear their issues and concerns.

Hutchings said there are a lot of challenges and opportunities within the riding.

“Let’s try to explore the opportunities in agriculture and tourism and work on infrastructure issues that make sense for the long-term,” she said, adding there is also a need to look to secondary processing in the fishery and forestry sectors.

As MP for the riding, Hutchings said she’d draw on the people from the riding, to put teams in place to tackle the issues in agriculture, fishery, forestry, infrastructure and tourism.


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