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Friday, 2 August 2013

I'll be supporting...

The slate of candidates who have come forward for the Liberal Leadership is nothing short of fantastic. It is a mix of experience and new voices in a party that is crying out for both. The character and experience of these candidates will grow the party and increases the chances of at the very least having some great new Liberal candidates for the next election. I have more hope for the Liberal Party of NL right now then I've had since I became involved a few years ago. I know that whomever wins this race will be a great leader and the party will be all the stronger for it. In the end only one candidate can win and despite being asked by multiple candidates, I can only support one of them. I support Jim Bennett for the Leadership of the Liberal Party of NL.

I have not made this choice lightly. I examined the candidates and while they all have many skills to bring to this contest I feel strongly that Jim is the leader that the party currently needs. Jim had contacted me some time ago to talk about the leadership possibilities and even then, before the contest had been announced, he impressed me with his strategic approach to how the contest could be won and how the party could be developed to lead NL back to an accountable government again. His emphasis on planning was especially important to me since a large part of my career was spent extolling the need for planning to municipalities around NL. Here was a person looking to lead a government and he actually wanted to begin with analysis and planning. What a contrast to the current Government!

In 2006 Jim held the leadership of the party for a brief period when no one else would even put their name forward. He stepped up and was not afraid to push for new ideas and new approaches. Unfortunately at the time the party was not ready for the change that Jim tried to create. He knew then that if he stayed and fought it would only tear the party further apart so he did what was best for the party at that time and stepped down. In 2007 he ran for the party and despite some very hard work he was not successful. But he did not miss his next opportunity in 2011. While the party was in shambles and we were all fighting for every vote Jim had his ground team in place and worked hard to push his way to victory. It was hard fought and a surprise win in an election where many of us did not fare so well. His determination and ground work had made the difference.

In our conversations since that election Jim has spoken of his vision for the Liberal Party of NL. A party that is focused but fluid enough to adapt. Rebuilt from the ground up with long time party supporters and new blood to reinvigorate and innovate. This must begin at the local level and he has worked hard to get his District Association to a place where they are a healthy functioning organisation.  That's what he wants to do all over the province. In addition to his skills it is perhaps his belief in the Liberal Party and the province of NL that makes him the best choice. He truly believes in a party and a government that is transparent and accountable, fiscally responsible and representative. Jim is a believer in the Liberal Party and the Province of NL. And it's that combination of faith and skill that inspires people. It has inspired me, not only to vote for Jim when the time comes, but to be part of Jim's campaign team.

In the end all that we can do is vote for the person we feel will do the best job. I think that person is Jim Bennett. You have to decide for yourself.

You can find out more about Jim's Campaign at www.JimBennett.ca

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