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raj retiring.

Edmonton Strathcona NDP MLA Raj Pannu announced today that he will not be seeking re-election in the next general election. Pannu has served Edmonton Strathcona since first being elected in 1997 and was the leader of the Alberta NDP from 2000 to 2004.

I like Raj Pannu. He’s a hard worker and is passionate about bringing social justice issues to the forfront in Alberta politics (he’s also my MLA). Though some people liked to argue that it wouldn’t be true, I’ve long predicted that the 70+ MLA would not seek re-election.

In my mind, this opens Edmonton Strathcona up as a key battleground between the three-main parties in the next election. Since 1997, Pannu’s personal popularity has gained him support from many traditional non-NDP voters and has more than definately been the cause of many high-profile Liberals and Tories declining to run against him.

As for high-profile candidates that may run in Stathcona, here are some potentials…

Liberal – Don Fleming, Ben Henderson, (and I think Nic would make an awesome candidate!)

NDP – Rachel Notley, Larry Booi

PC – Eric Young, Kim Krushell, Janet Riopel

As for past Edmonton-Strathcona election results, here you go…

1989
Gordon Wright, ND- 6,696
Philip Lister, Lib- 4,237
Jack Scott, PC- 3,724

1990* By-Election
Barrie Chivers, ND- 4,927
Nadene Thomas, Lib- 2,252
Eric Young, PC- 1,512
Betty Paschen, Grn- 424
Robert Alford, SC- 224

1993
Al Zariwny, Lib- 6,542
Barrie Chivers, ND- 5,121
Don Grimble, PC- 4,071
Patrick Ellis, SC- 460
Betty Paschen, Grn- 253
Ben Toane, NLP- 108
Noami Rankin, Com- 47

1997
Raj Pannu, ND- 4,274
Mary MacDonald, Lib- 4,214
John Logan, PC- 4,096
John Forget, SC- 552
Myles Kitagawa, Grn- 236
Eshwar Jagdeo, NLP- 47

2001
Raj Pannu, ND- 6,998
John Logan, PC- 4,749
Jim Jacuta, Lib- 1,944
James Lakinn, AFP- 136

2004
Raj Pannu, ND- 7,430
Shannon Stubbs, PC- 2,256
Steven Leard, Lib- 1,850
Adrian Cole, Grn- 287
Jeremy Burns, AA- 275
Kelly Graham, SC- 162

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