18 September 2006

Jerome, Lorraine and a player to be named later

CBC's provincial affairs reporter David Cochrane told Here and Now viewers this evening that prominent criminal defence lawyer Jerome Kennedy is considering seeking the Tory nod in the upcoming Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi by-election.

Oddly enough, Kennedy is the guy who got a settlement for Greg Parsons in his wrongful conviction case against government when the previous lead lawyer on the file - foreshadowing a seemingly endless string of similar negotiating failures - couldn't manage to close the deal.

Kennedy's name has been kicking around town for weeks as a possible contender. Also mentioned have been Valerie Marshall, daughter of former Tory cabinet minister and retired trials division judge Bill Marshall; Ian Carter, son of former Tory member of the House of Assembly John Carter; and, Karen Carroll who defeated Carter for the Tory nomination in 2003 and then lost to Jack Harris in the general election by what amounts to a handful of votes.

The New Democrats will be running their new leader, Lorraine Michael. She has been campaigning already alongside her predecessor and the current incumbent in the seat in the east end of St. John's. While Danny Williams likely has a lock on the seat, he still managed to whine and moan about Jack and Lorraine's stealing a page from Williams own playbook.

No one has come forward yet seeking the Liberal nomination. Simon Lono publicly declared today he isn't interested. The Liberals have also reportedly been courting George Murphy , a consumer gas prices activist.

The race will be interesting if only because Michael and Kennedy are newbies to the political realm. Michael hasn't shown any sign of a steel backbone and Kennedy, well, Kennedy is actually only thinking about running. He is being actively courted by Danny and company who seem a little desperate to secure a candidate. According to some versions of the story, Kennedy would be appointed to cabinet immediately on election; that's likely part of the price for getting a highly successful lawyer with no previously detectable political ambitions to abandon a successful practice and enter into Danny's confining world.

It doesn't really matter who gets their name on the Tory banner, though, since whoever it is will likely not be the campaign target for the other parties.

We'll discuss that in greater detail in the days and weeks ahead.