The Backroom

The Backroom


By: Melanie Jackson

Melanie Jackson is a former reporter, occasional librarian and current freelance writer. Her work has been published in The Eastern Graphic, The Buzz, The Guardian, The Cape Breton Post and The Telegram (NL). She has also written website, social media and technical content for a variety of P.E.I. businesses.

Melanie worked as an administrative assistant for the government of P.E.I. from 1997 to 2011. In 2012, she went back to school and earned a diploma in journalism, graduating from Holland College in 2014.

Melanie's favourite stories are ones that inspire readers to appreciate their own truths and insecurities through the tales and experiences of another. She believes we are all imperfect, human and can be connected - by words - through sharing our stories.

This is Denny's story. Nothing has been edited or embellished.

(What I saw is what you got. - Melanie J.)


The Beginning

November 20, 2018

“Are you scared?” I asked him. “Terrified,” he replied. Sitting on the stage across from me, at the Kings Playhouse in Georgetown, Dennis King wasn’t afraid to answer my question. Truthfully.

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Campaign Launch 

November 21, 2018

You can tell he’s a writer, a storyteller. And you can tell he’s an Islander. His Kings County ‘twang’. His thoughtful consideration, sincerity and gratitude.

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My Two Cents: Harmony House

November 28, 2018

The door to the Harmony House Theatre is heavy, windowless and shut tightly on this rainy November evening in Hunter River.

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My Two Cents: Summerside

December 4, 2018

A journalist by trade, Dennis King knows how to ask questions. And he knows how to listen, how to connect with people – from all walks of life, from all parts of the province.

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My Two Cents: Montague

December 10, 2018

The assembly looked and sounded more like a class reunion than a political open house. Smiles and laughter. Handshakes and hugs. Memories and stories being shared.

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Social Media

December 18, 2018

“They tell me I’m not tweeting enough,” Dennis says with a raised brow, nodding toward Adam Ross, his campaign manager.

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Why can't we be friends? 

January 10, 2019

“Everyone is mad.”  “Why?” I asked.

I was responding to a Dec. 21 Facebook message from Dennis, who had just told me some of his own party members were upset with him.

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It's about balance.

January 22, 2019

Lots of travel. Lots of talking.

Many long days. And many restless nights – thinking about the people he’s met, the stories he’s heard and the work that lies ahead.

Dennis is feeling the effects of the campaign trail.

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All hands on Deck

February 7, 2019

“Let them fight. Let them divide. That’s not why I’m running.”

Dennis is at his campaign office, reading yet another news article outlining the differences between the five candidates running for the PC leadership.

Some good. Some bad. (Depending who you ask.)

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The People's Champion

February 14, 2019

Dennis King takes a seat in the back row of the stands in an empty Eastlink arena.

He’s alone. It’s quiet.

In the room behind him, it’s a much different scene: campaign volunteers are scattered everywhere. Some standing, talking on their cell phones. Some seated, pecking at laptops. All are making last minute contact with Dennis’s supporters before polls close just a few hours later.

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Be The Change

February 22, 2019

(This piece is written from a conversation I had with Dennis in mid-January, before he was elected leader.)

“I think Islanders deserve my courage and my honesty to own up to who I am, and what I say and think.”

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