Voters in Preston will head to the polls on Aug. 8.

The seat in the Nova Scotia legislature has been vacant since April 1, when Liberal MLA Angela Simmonds stepped down. Premier Tim Houston had six months to call the byelection, with a deadline of Oct. 1 and a latest possible election date of Nov. 14.

Summer elections tend to have lower voter turnout. Houston said last month he expected a new MLA to be sworn in before the fall sitting of the legislature.

An electoral map shows the areas included in the riding, including East and North Preston, Cherry Brook, Westphal, and Montague Mines.
A map of the Preston riding. Credit: Elections Nova Scotia

The three major parties have each announced candidates: Twila Grosse will run for the governing PCs; Colter Simmonds for the NDP; and Carlo Simmons for the Liberals.

Grosse was an accountant for the Halifax International Airport Authority for 36 years before retiring in 2020.

Simmonds is a basketball coach and community youth advocate who ran in the same riding in the 2021 provincial election.

Simmons is the chief operating officer of his family’s paving company.

Elections Nova Scotia announced in April that it would use a new e-balloting system for early voting. That system will allow people to go into a polling station and use an electronic voting machine for 20 days leading up to Election Day. Elections Nova Scotia will use paper ballots on Election Day.

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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  1. I always wonder about summer elections/by-elections. While there is not much “respite” for many individuals and families, summer time “the living is easy”, imo, is not the time for an election. why not this past spring?? I do apprectiate that three people are willing to be in the fray knowing that some constituents will be at the beach, the shore, or at work outside their riding.

  2. I have seen this so many times of the years, say one thing in opposition and change your tune in in power, when ever happens now I am like “meh” we keep electing them

  3. It is a shame that the riding had to go 3 plus months with no representation as Teflon Tim Houston knew about the vacancy, as did everyone else; why the delay? Could it be that one of the parties was having convincing someone to run? The winner in this riding will be the residents who get their representation back, shame on Teflon Tim Houston for making the people in this riding or any other riding wait, could you have not done this anytime in April or May.