BY GEORGE MACVICAR
Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s reaction to incumbent PC member for Burin-Placentia West Clyde Jackman was “Don’t you ever do that to me again!”
She was referring to her Fisheries Minister’s 40-vote spread over NDP challenger Julie Mitchell (2,538 to 2,498). Liberal candidate Jackie Mullett was a distant third with 202 votes. Mrs. Mitchell announced Thursday she was discussing with the provincial party the possibility of a requesting a recount.
There were a lot of nervous PC and NDP supporters after the polls closed as the vote totals continued neck and neck for a full hour before the final count was announced. Observers had given the NDP a real chance of ousting Mr. Jackman as the election campaign wore on.
Elections Newfoundland and Labrador will conduct an official count of the votes Friday morning.
Mrs. Mitchell suggested the close vote was “more of a message for Clyde (Jackman) than me.”
The PC candidate was plagued by a lack of work at both of the major industries in Marystown – the fish plant and Peter Kiewit’s offshore fabrication centre.
She said in her door-to-door campaign the message was “Clyde was not vocal enough” and didn’t support the workers in public forcibly to get their jobs back.
Mr. Jackman, in a speech to his supporters after the final vote tally which needed the last – ‘special (mail in) ballots to be counted, “I said to a fellow here, a plant worker, ‘You will not be forgotten’.”
The incumbent MHA said he spoke with Wayne Butler, of the MWF/CAW Local 20 at Peter Kiewit, the night before “to let him know that as soon as this election was over he and I will meet to see what we can do to assist the situation at Cow Head and bring some work down there.”
He finished up speaking to a cheering room of supporters, who fought for his third election victory, “I didn’t think it was going to this close but I said from the beginning if you’ve got a good team around you it will be successful.”