Applause for each district declared a win for the Liberals drowned out the chatter at Andrew Parsons’ campaign office on Thursday night.
The large crowd also cheered when Eddie Joyce reclaimed his seat as an independent after his ousting from the Liberal caucus.
The largest applause was naturally saved for Andrew Parsons, who retained his seat as MHA for Burgeo-LaPoile.
He won handily with 2947 votes, against 584 for his PC opponent Deborah Ann Turner.
“You never take anything for granted,” Parsons told The Gulf News in an interview after his win was confirmed. “What I’ve been hearing is positive, but you know it’s been a tough four years.
“I read a quote from Lyndon Johnson once that ‘Every day you’re in government is the day you alienate somebody.’ The fact is that when you have to make tough decisions like we’ve had, that’s bound to turn people off.”
Parsons admitted he felt confident going into the election and credits a strong team of supporters he’s developed since first winning his seat in 2011. He says he doesn’t want to let them down.
“It means a lot. I take it very personally. I take the job very personally.”
PC candidate, Deborah Ann Turner did not put up much of a challenge for the seat, but Parsons says that did little to reduce his stress.
Parsons says some people will vote for the unknown just to see what a different candidate can offer.
“I never at any time said well this person’s not going to be around so I can sit back today and take it easy,” says Parsons, who travelled extensively throughout the riding to reach voters.
Parsons spoke recently with a colleague who campaigned in a city, which he juxtaposed to his rural riding.
“It’s different because you don’t have that same connection that you have here. Here you have a connection with communities and people, even on social media.”
Now that the results are in, Parsons says he will take the night to celebrate with staff and supporters before getting back to work.
“No one said campaigning was easy, so it’s a bit of relief to have it done.”