Surrounded by friends and family in his hometown of Centerville-Wareham-Trinity, Churence Rogers was welcomed to cheers and hugs after becoming the newest member of Parliament-elect.
Representing the Liberals, Rogers secured the federal byelection vote Monday to represent the constituents of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, previously held by Liberal Judy Foote, who resigned earlier this year for family reasons.
Rogers was up against Conservative Mike Windsor, the NDP’s Tyler Downey and Shane Stapleton of the Libertarian Party.
As the votes came in, Rogers had control of the polls early. Up to 9:40 p.m., 63 per cent of the vote was in and Rogers had obtained 5,000 votes. His closest contender was Windsor with 1,712.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Rogers said about the win. “I realize the responsibility that goes with being elected MP for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, and I’m following in some big footsteps with our former MP, she done a fantastic job. I’ve heard great things about her all across the riding and I intend to work hard to ensure that Judy’s legacy continues.
“The work I do in the riding will also be driven by the community leaders and people in the riding that I intend to work with on a regular basis.”
He attributes the overwhelming response to a strong grassroots campaign.
“We had a great team on the ground. If I wanted someone’s vote I went out to earn that vote, not because I was a Liberal. That’s why I worked so hard for 15 hours a day travelling the riding, knocking on thousands of doors, talking to thousands of people,” he said. “And I think that shows in the vote we are seeing delivered tonight.”
Now that he has secured the seat, Rogers says his focus will be on job creation.
He said there are project opportunities that can be availed of, and if it’s a proper fit for the riding that he’s prepared to do what he can to make it come to fruition.
“This is truly a rural riding. My job as an MP is to ensure we promote the development of projects that create jobs so people can stay in the riding,” he said. “Whether it’s the fishery, tourism, aquaculture, agriculture, all these things are important and we need to maximum every single sector.”
The first order of business following the win, was to tender his resignation as mayor of Centerville-Wareham-Trinity, which he had held since 2009.
Rogers said it’s a position he’ll miss, and one that he “thoroughly enjoyed.”