CORNWALL – The first name that could potentially be running against incumbent Conservative Guy Lauzon in the 2015 federal election has been revealed.
Patricia Pichette was introduced as the first SDSG Liberal nomination candidate at the riding association’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Roughly 30 people were at the Knights of Columbus hall on Amelia Street Sunday afternoon for the party and announcement.
“Running isn’t an easy decision and Bernadette (Clement) just said the same thing to be. She thanked me for stepping up. We worked together in the public for a long time now and she’s aware of the fact my commitment to SDSG is 100 per cent,” she told the crowd.
“This is a beautiful area…it deserves representation,” she said.
Pichette, 35, lives in Ingleside with her husband, James Allenson. She has a college diploma in human relations, with training as a jewelry and medals technician and goldsmithery.
She runs a jewelry business – Fused Elements – which was on Pitt Street in Cornwall before she moved the business online.
“I felt like I was someone who could answer that call to action,” Pichette told Cornwall Newswatch when asked about her decision to run.
While she admires Leader Justin Trudeau’s style, Pichette said her affinity to the Liberal party was established long before Trudeau was in the spotlight.
“Justin’s leadership and leadership style and involvement in everything certainly helped me gain the courage to step forward and make this important step,” she said.
Pichette says the biggest challenge ahead is mobilizing the Liberals in the riding that have “felt like they don’t have a voice for so long.”
She was asked how she would swing the United Counties support to the Grits – traditionally a Conservative stronghold.
“Being from the counties that does give me an advantage. It gives me a better understanding…I’m sort of entrenched in the lifestyle. Perhaps that’s something that will be an advantage,” she said.
“I think what they really are looking for is to know that they’re going to be heard. Having just finished breakfast in Crysler and given all the opportunity to bring their concerns forward, they’re seeing that someone is willing to listen.”
Bernadette Clement tells Cornwall Newswatch she’s still undecided on whether to run again, after she was soundly defeated by current MP Guy Lauzon in the 2011 election.
The Liberal party still has to select a nomination voting day, which will likely happen around February.
A date for the nomination deadline will be selected after the nomination voting day is selected, typically about seven days before the vote.
Pichette could face some competition because at least five other people have accepted nomination candidacy paperwork but have not completed it, according to SDSG Liberal Riding Association President Jamie Labonte.
The federal election is scheduled for Oct. 19, 2015.