Four-term incumbent Margaret-Ann Blaney, upon appointment as CEO of Efficiency NB, announced that she would resign the seat effective May 25, requiring a by-election to be called no later than November 25, 2012, which means an election will be held no later than December 31, 2012. On May 25, Premier of New BrunswickDavid Alward announced that the by-election would be held on June 25.
The incumbent Conservatives chose local lawyer and businessman Hugh John "Ted" Flemming III to be their candidate over local education council member Charlotte McGill Pierce. Flemming is the grandson and great-grandson of former premiersHugh John Flemming and James Kidd Flemming respectively.
Early media coverage of the race focussed on the controversial appointment of Margaret-Ann Blaney as CEO of Efficiency New Brunswick, a crown corporation. Several prominent Progressive Conservatives backed away from the issue with Finance Minister Blaine Higgs demurring "it's certainly incumbent on me, and it's incumbent on my colleagues, to respect the decision that the premier makes," and PC candidate Hugh John "Ted" Flemming III stating "I wasn't there." Premier David Alward, at the time of her appointment said "I have full confidence that I have the best person for the job," and Blaney noted that her motivation for taking the post arose in part from a desire to spend more time closer to family in the Saint John area, after a difficult year. The appointment was criticized as political patronage by the New Brunswick Liberal Association and the New Brunswick New Democratic Party who noted that prior to Blaney accepting the $150,000-175,000 per year position it had been carried out by the deputy minister of Environment and Local Government at no additional cost to the taxpayer. Deputy Premier Paul Robichaud offered competing explanations for the appointment suggesting that the deputy minister of Environment and Local Government responsibilities over Efficiency New Brunswick was only "a temporary position."Dominic Cardy, the New Democratic candidate, proposed a bill to end political patronage that would require positions such as CEO of Efficiency New Brunswick to be publicly competed.