P.E.I.’s Progressive Conservatives will be first out of the gate to hold a nomination vote for their candidate in District 10, Charlottetown-Winsloe.
The party will hold a nomination contest over two days, from Friday, Oct. 2 to Saturday, Oct. 3 at the former Sherwood BMR location at 423 Mount Edward Rd. Voting by members for the party’s candidate in the district will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday
Liberal Robert Mitchell stepped down from his role as MLA in the district over the summer. The byelection is expected to be called sometime this fall.
Charles Blue, president of the P.E.I. PC party, said the party has obtained approval for an operational plan for the event from the province’s Chief Public Health Office.
"We have all the proper sanitizers and masks for everybody to vote,” Blue said.
“Each station, after you vote, the station will be cleaned. We have an entrance and an exit — so there's only one way in, one way out."
Unlike most nomination contests, party members will not be able to gather at the BMR location to await the results due to public health restrictions. Blue said the announcement of the results will be livestreamed online.
Party members will be voting by preferential ballot, meaning candidates will be ranked in order of preference.
Three candidates - Zack Bell, Susie Dillon and Sonya Hooper - will compete for the PC nomination in the district. Bell is a former radio personality with Hot 105.5. Dillon is an educational assistant at Sherwood Elementary School. Hooper is the executive director of Early Childhood Development Association of P.E.I.
The cut-off date for membership sign-ups was Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Blue said the party’s membership numbers in the district stood at 167 prior to Mitchell’s resignation.
“There’s been over 100 new members that have come in so far,” Blue said.
Blue said he expects as many as 300 members could vote in the contest.
The Dennis King PCs have been leading in provincial polls, buoyed by popular support for the government’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent polls from Narrative Research has the PCs at 48 per cent support amongst decided voters, well ahead of the Greens (25 per cent) and the Liberals (22 per cent).
NDP and Liberals
The P.E.I. New Democrats will also nominate their candidate in Charlottetown-Winsloe on Oct. 3. So far, only educator and author Lynne Thiele has announced she will be seeking the nomination as the NDP's candidate in the district.
Zac Murphy, a financial advisor, has announced his plan to seek the Liberal party’s nomination in the district. The party will hold a nomination meeting if another candidate comes forward by end-of-day Wednesday.
There has been no announcement to date of a possible nominee from the provincial Green party.