In a hotly-contested nomination in 2011, Jim was on the ballot as the Liberal candidate for St. Barbe. In the provincial general election he was then up against the Tory incumbent who had been entrenched for over a decade.
It was not the most ideal time to run – the Liberal Party was in debt and during the election, the Liberal Leader resigned due to health problems. It made for uncertain times – exactly the environment in which Jim shoots for his best!
Team Bennett was on the ground in the huge district of St. Barbe and it was non-stop. The five most senior members of the team combined over 200 years of political experience. Every poll was a contest – and the finish lined revealed a mere 36 vote margin victory. That is an average of 1 vote per poll! It was the closest vote of any district in the Province. The Liberals came 3rd in popular vote, but maintained Official Opposition Status of 6 seats!
Jim has since proven to be an outstanding member in the District, the House of Assembly and as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee. As he promised during the campaign, he established an office in the District - the first permanent office in St. Barbe since Confederation. The output from this office is nothing short of phenomenal with his capable Constituency Assistant and Jim’s very efficient approach.
In the House of Assembly, Jim has distinguished himself in debate, presenting scores of petitions on a variety of issues, presented a number of Private Members Resolutions and taking part on dozens of debates, including on the infamous Bill 29 debate (The Secrecy Bill) and the Muskrat Falls debate – two notable record’s in the province’s Legislature.
Jim has the spiritedness of a courtroom lawyer and is not shy in speaking up for people , nor in opposing poor legislation. Jim has proven himself as one of the constructive and reasonable members of the House. He has built solid relationships with Ministers so as to advance the interest of the public in general – and the residents of St. Barbe in particular.
Team Jim Bennett