NDP MHA Lorraine Michael will not seek re-election so party leader Alison Coffin can run in St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi.

Michael and Coffin made the announcement Thursday morning. Michael had planned to run again and was facing a nomination challenge from St. John’s Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary. But on Thursday, Michael said she was stepping aside to give the party leader the best chance possible of winning a seat in the House of Assembly.

Coffin said she wants O’Leary to run for the NDP in the provincial election, but there has been no commitment from O’Leary yet to withdraw her nomination challenge.