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N.B. Liberal MLA Denis Landry looks to make jump to municipal politics – New Brunswick

Longtime Liberal MLA Dennis Landry has said he will vacate his seat this fall, potentially giving new Liberal leader Susan Holt a chance to take office in the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly.

First elected in 1995, Landry is the only current MP to sit with former Premier Frank McKenna. On Friday, he announced he would run for mayor of the new Highlands town in local elections in November.

“If I can lay a good foundation and work with people in the right way and tell them that we have to work together to make this new city great, maybe I’ll be the only one doing it,” he said. .

Landry, who served as an MLA in three different ridings during his tenure in the provincial legislature, said the new boroughs created by San Isidore and several other small communities on the Arcadia Peninsula were the same as when he was first elected. . The constituencies are very similar to those of 1995.

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“I’ve been representing these people for 30 years,” he said.

But with Landry now committing to leave Bathurst East-Nepisigit-Saint Isidore, Holt will have the opportunity to seek a safe seat if she chooses.

JP Lewis, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick, said she might be wise to do so.

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A recent poll by Narrative Research places the Liberals at 41% among decision-making voters, compared to 31% for the Progressive Conservatives. Narrative’s previous quarterly poll, which began in May, showed bipartisan support at 34%.

“Holt seems to be going through a supportive honeymoon period, and if Holt doesn’t get a seat in the legislature, how can she keep the momentum going,” Lewis said.

Former Liberal leader Kevin Wickers has never won a seat in the legislature. He had planned to run in the by-elections for Brian Gallant’s former seat in Shediac-Dieppe Bay, but these were initially postponed until the September 2020 general election due to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vickers resigned after election night as Higgs swept the majority government and did not win the Miramich election.

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If Holt chooses not to run for the seat, it could become history, according to Lewis.

“Every story about whether a leader has a seat can be a story about a leader coming up with ideas that oppose government policy,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity to be in the Legislative Assembly, answer to the Premier and lead your caucus in Fredericton.

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Jamie Gilles, a professor of communications and public policy at the University of St. Thomas, said it’s been common in the past for MPs in their safe seats to resign to give new leaders a chance to enter the bench. Legislative Assembly. There’s a good reason for that, he says.

“For a party trying to become a government, the daily exposure of the leader of the opposition in the legislature is very important,” Giles said.

But if Holt decides to run in the seat, it won’t be up to her when she gets the chance. The date of the by-election will be decided by Higgs. While the Electoral Code states that he must summon a person within six months of the seat becoming vacant, there is no limit on the date that can be set.

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However, Giles said it could be a bit dangerous for the prime minister to delay too long.

“People will draw a line between election manipulation and this undermining democracy, and we have to have someone as the leader of the official opposition,” he said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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