Senior officials with the provincial Liberals announced during the party’s annual convention June 13-15 in Gander that 12 candidates have come forward to seek the Liberal nod for the district of Port de Grave.
Since then, The Compass has learned that the official number is five, much lower than the initial total.
Liberal organizer Paul Antle was the first to say the dozen people were seeking the nod, and other media outlets published the details yesterday (June 16).
Nominations have not yet opened in the district.
Antle could not be reached for comment because he is out of the country.
Party president John Allan told The Compass that five applications for Port de Grave have been requested by possible candidates. But he confirmed there is still word of others — possibly up to a dozen — still weighing their options.
Candidates who have already come forward include Tony Menchions, a town councillor and former deputy mayor of Spaniard’s Bay, former journalist Pam Parsons and Lee Efford, son to former Liberal MP John Efford.
The most recent to confirm with The Compass that he is filling out the paperwork is Justin Butler, grandson of former MHA Roland Butler. At 21 years old, Butler is the youngest so far to announce their intentions to run.
Howard Smith, a businessman from Upper Island Cove who runs an insurance office in Bay Roberts, is also said to be considering a run.
The district has been Progressive Conservative since 2011, when former Liberal MHA Roland Butler retired from politics, and current MHA Glenn Littlejohn won the seat.
Since a date for nominations has not yet been released, there is still time for the number of candidates to increase.