SPRINGHILL – The first candidate has come forward for the Cumberland South Liberal nomination.
Riding association president Scott Lockhart announced Friday he will be seeking the party’s nomination when members gather to select a candidate for a byelection to replace former Progressive Conservative MLA and leader Jamie Baillie.
“In the last five or six years we really haven’t been represented in Halifax and the fact is if we elect a Liberal this time we will have someone on the government side of the house. There are a lot of issues, big and small, and I feel I can help address those issues,” said Lockhart, a 56-year-old Springhill native.
This is the second time Lockhart has sought the Liberal nomination in Cumberland South. Last year he ran unsuccessfully against Kenny John Jackson after leaving the provincial Progressive Conservative Party.
Lockhart sees the Rainbow Bridge on Highway 2 just outside Amherst is a key issue. He said it’s frustrating to have no information the status of the bridge and he’s not sure where Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin came up with the two-year timeline because he’s been told no one in the department said it would take that long.
He also wants to push for a new elementary school in Springhill and feels the cause would be better served by having someone in government.
While people here about the negatives, Lockhart said there are a lot of positives taking place including continued prosperity at Oxford Frozen Foods and growth at Surrette Battery in Springhill.
Lockhart, who works in the power sports industry, also plans to spend a lot of time visiting the entire riding, getting to places along the Fundy Shore between Parrsboro and Advocate Harbour as well as to Oxford, River Hebert and Joggins.
While Cumberland South has been a Tory stronghold since the election of Murray Scott in 1998, Lockhart said Liberals have slowly been building their own election machine and the members will be ready when the premier calls a byelection.
“I’ve been working hard since the last election to get ready and I’m going to focus on getting out and meeting as many people as possible,” he said. “We would be better off having a member on the government side working for the people of Cumberland South and Cumberland County. If we elect another Conservative it will be another three-and-a-half years of having a member in opposition.”