NDP Leader James Rodd resigns

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New Democrats in Prince Edward Island are looking for a new leader.

During a news conference in Hunter River this morning, James Rodd announced he was resigning as leader of the party.

After serving as interim leader for 18 months,  Rodd, an organic farmer from North Milton, was elected leader at the party's annual convention in April of 2009.

Rodd's been active in the party for many years. He's also served as party president.

Rodd said he would stay on until a new leader is found.

The NDP continues to struggle to gain support in the province.

In the last provincial election in October 2011, the NDP was only able to field 14 candidates in the 27 districts.

The party picked up 3.2 per cent of the vote.

Personally, Rodd gained the support of seven per cent of voters in District 9 York-Oyster Bed. He lost the seat to Liberal Robert Vessey.

The Island NDP has only ever elected a candidate once in P.E.I. history.

In 1996, a local doctor and party leader, Herb Dickieson, won his seat in O'Leary.

The party will elect a new leader this spring.

Lorne Cudmore, president of the NDP, said: "James would rather be on the farm than in the legislature."

Wearing bright orange wool socks, which Rodd proudly displayed during the news conference, the NDP leader said he's not going far.

"I'm not going away," said Rodd.

"My passion and philosophy will keep me around."

Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Hunter River, North Milton District 9 York-Oyster Bed O'Leary

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