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Scott Simms has central Newfoundland seeing red

Moments after being declared the winner of the federal election for the riding of Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, Liberal incumbent Scott Simms addressed his supporters.
Moments after being declared the winner of the federal election for the riding of Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, Liberal incumbent Scott Simms addressed his supporters. - Nicholas Mercer

Liberal incumbent headed for sixth term in Ottawa

GANDER, N.L. —

Moments after he had just been declared the winner in the Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame district, Scott Simms lifted his hands in victory. 

The longtime federal representative for the region smiled and rested his hands on his knees. Surrounded by family and friends, Simms had just won his sixth straight election. 

Supporters hugged one another and exclaimed, ‘that’s six’ as any feelings of tension left the room.  

There were times it seemed like his supporters tried to will their candidate to victory as Simms first name was spelled out on one of the walls in the shape of a V. 

It was meant to signify a coming victory for Simms.

“You’ll never guess what happened on the way to Gander … we won,” Simms told a happy room at the Gander Curling Club moments later. “This is our sixth victory. The sixth time that I’ve been elected as your representative.“ 

Family is an important piece of Scott Simms' campaign. Here, he is joined by members of his family as they take a celebratory phone call after the election results were declared. From left to right, they are sister Judy Watton, Simms, sister Vicki Morgan and niece Janet Morgan. In the back is niece Kristy Morgan.
Family is an important piece of Scott Simms' campaign. Here, he is joined by members of his family as they take a celebratory phone call after the election results were declared. From left to right, they are sister Judy Watton, Simms, sister Vicki Morgan and niece Janet Morgan. In the back is niece Kristy Morgan.

 

Simms won by taking 50 per cent of the votes cast in his district and receiving 14,594 votes. Conservative candidate Alex Bracci was Simms’ closest competitor with 10,390 votes cast in his favour. 

The NDP’s Noel Joe finished third with 3,596 votes while Green Party representative Byron White finished with 1,226 votes. 

After addressing the room, there were the congratulatory hugs, phone calls and Facetimes – especially with his sister Jill Ellis and niece Vikki Ellis – that followed. 

“Everyone talks about family supporting the campaign, but if you think about it family shapes who you are,” said Simms. “Because they shaped who I am, they’re the biggest reason that I’m up there.” 

Heading into this election, there was plenty of belief that a Liberal majority could be in trouble as anti-Justin Trudeau sentiment swelled on the campaign trail. 

Even after running six campaigns and spending over a decade in federal politics, Simms admitted he felt some nerves on the drive from Grand Falls-Windsor to Gander as the results started coming in. 

“I always run like I am a 1,000 votes behind,” said Simms. “If I ever feel like I am 1,000 votes ahead, I’ll lose.” 

In his political career, Simms has been on the side of government and with the opposition. He’s confident the project he has started in his riding will continue even if there is a change in premier after this evening. 

At the end of his address, Simms recounted that as a lad growing up in Bishop’s Falls he would dream of a career in federal politics. 

Emotion swelled in his voice as he thanked his supporters for allowing him the chance to live his dream for the last number of years. 

“There is no way I could ever thank you for the rest of my life simply then just to say that I am going to do the best job that I can do,” said Simms. 

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