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McCrossin, Baillie cruise to election wins in Cumberland County

Cumberland North PC MLA-elect Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin speaks to her supporters after winning the riding during Tuesday’s provincial election. She defeated incumbent Liberal MLA Terry Farrell.
Cumberland North PC MLA-elect Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin speaks to her supporters after winning the riding during Tuesday’s provincial election. She defeated incumbent Liberal MLA Terry Farrell.

AMHERST, N.S. – Cumberland County has gone Tory blue.

Elizabeth Smith-Mcrossin thanks her supporters.

For the first time in a decade Cumberland County’s two ridings have voted Progressive Conservative.
While party leader Jamie Baillie cruised to his third election win in Cumberland South, first-time politician Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin knocked off incumbent Liberal MLA Terry Farrell to take Cumberland North from the PCs.
“It feels great. We have a big team here and I have to give them a lot of credit,” Smith-McCrossin said. “I can’t wait to get to work, there’s much to be done.”
A registered nurse who has established several successful businesses in downtown Amherst, Smith-McCrossin built up an early lead on Tuesday and by the end of the night was leading by more than 700 votes over Farrell.
She said she is looking forward to working with Baillie and doesn’t think being in opposition will hinder what she wants to do.
Smith-McCrossin becomes the first Progressive Conservative MLA in Cumberland North since longtime Tory MLA and cabinet minister Ernest Fage was expelled from caucus in early 2008 after being convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in Halifax in November 2006.
“Throughout the campaign we said we wanted to make Cumberland grow again and that’s what we’re going to do. There’s so much potential here and amazing possibilities,” she said. “I think Stephen McNeil will be willing to work with the opposition, especially if it’s a minority government. Once you’re in government the political stripes should not be barriers. We have to work together.”
She visited places she had never visited before during the campaign and while she found people who are doing well, she also found a lot who are struggling.
“I’m going to start tomorrow so in the next election I won’t hear how discouraged people are at how much they had lost their hope in politics. I hope they would have a renewed hope that someone really does care.”
For Farrell, it was election disappointment. He was hoping to be the first Liberal to win back-to-back elections in more than 70 years.
“This result was not a reflection on the people who worked so hard for me. They did great work,” Farrell said. “We got the message out there and it was a great message. The government has done a lot of hard work, work that was essential, but it was a vote against the government.”
Farrell believes he was effective over the last three-and-a-half years, he worked hard for people and never turned anyone away who wanted to talk to him.
“We achieved some great things in the community and I’m disappointed I won’t be able to continue doing that. I feel I’ve improved the community,” Farrell said. “I feel that getting us back into the provincial sphere was a big accomplishment. We had great connections with every department and we built great networks. There were a bunch of things but they were one thing in that we were plugged in. Being plugged in doesn’t mean being the loudest, it means developing relationships and I’m a little afraid for that moving forward.”
He is concerned with what will happen under the new Stephen McNeil government with two opposition MLAs representing Cumberland County. He said the Liberal government will continue to give strong direction for all Nova Scotians and he’s afraid the two MLAs will fight it.
(With files from Dave Mathieson, Amherst News)
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Cumberland North Liberal candidate Terry Farrell watches election results on Tuesday night. Farrell, first elected in 2013, was defeated by Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin of the Progressive Conservatives.

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