Scott will not pursue Conservative top job

Staff ~ The Record
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By Christopher Gooding
The Record
SPRINGHILL - After much thought, and equal speculation from constituents, Murray Scott announced he is not seeking leadership of the provincial Tories.
The Cumberland South MLA was considered one of the forerunners for the Progressive Conservative leadership after Rodney MacDonald stepped down after the party lost control of the government to the NDP. Interim leader Karen Casey announced a replacement would not be chosen until October of this year, but when the leadership convention takes place Scott says his name will not be on the ballot. Dividing his time between the constituency and his family are the main priorities for the former Minister of Economic Development.
"I've been at this for 12 years and Linda [Scott's wife] has put a lot of her own plans aside for me," Scott said. "I don't think it would be fair for me, her, my family, the constituents or the party if I took on the role as leader."
The decision not to run was not an easy one, Scott says. Support locally and across the province tempted the former Speaker of the House but at the end of the day wanting time for his family and constituents trumped advancing his political career.
"My parents didn't live to be very old,and over Christmas things were really put into perspective for me" Scott said. "I take care of myself but I have two grandchildren now and I love to spend time with them. If I became leader I would spend a lot of time away from my family and the constituency."
And right now, Scott says, is a time when Cumberland County needs a strong voice.
"Our county needs some attention. Cross-border shopping has been an issue for a long time. We have the unfortunate situation of [the government moving] the jail and now they're raising the HST. Even if they do lower gas taxes in the area, raising the HST will make little difference. All of these things make New Brunswick and Moncton very attractive for consumers."
Scott says the Conservatives need someone who is young, ambitious and determined to lead the Conservatives and looks forward to that person emerging from leadership convention.

cgooding@springhillrecord.com

Organizations: NDP, Conservatives

Geographic location: Cumberland County, New Brunswick, Moncton

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