8 races I am watching on Election Night in Alberta

At this point in Alberta’s election campaign, I am frequently being asked “what races are you watching on election night?” The short answer is, I am watching all of them, but there are a few specific races that I will be keeping my eye on when the polls close at 8:00 p.m. on April 16:

Banff-Kananaskis: This has been a long-time conservative voting district, but New Democratic Party MLA Cam Westhead was elected in 2015 with 43 per cent of the vote, nabbing it away from PC MLA Ron Casey. This time Westhead is facing United Conservative Party candidate Miranda Rosin, who claims her party does not support the locally controversial Springbank Dam, despite her party saying the opposite. Westhead has the support of numerous local municipal politicians who describe him as a strong advocate for the area. And the redistribution of the electoral boundaries has removed conservative-voting Cochrane from the district, making this one to watch in my books.

Calgary-Bow: NDP candidate Deborah Drever’s win in the 2015 election was a surprise and even after a rough start to her first term, she appeared to have redeemed herself. She faces her main challenge from UCP candidate Demetrios Nicolaides in this election. This is one of the Calgary districts the NDP will need to hold on to if they have any hope of forming government on April 16.

Calgary-Elbow: Greg Clark was leader of the Alberta Party when he was elected as the party’s only MLA in 2015. He is no longer the leader and he is running for re-election in 2019 against for conservative lawyer Doug Schweitzer. Clark has been an effective opposition voice in the Legislature and deserves a second-term, but it’s yet to be seen whether he can survive the challenge from the UCP and NDP candidate Janet Eremenko.

Calgary-Mountain View: A dog’s breakfast. Four-term Liberal MLA David Swann is retiring and all the parties are now scrambling to contest this district. Liberal Party leader David Khan, NDP Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, last minute UCP nominee Jeremy Wong, Alberta Party candidate and former radio broadcaster Angela Kokott, and Green Party candidate Thana Boonlert are in the mix. My money is on Ganley winning, but it really could be anybody’s game.

Edmonton-McClung: NDP MLA Lorne Dach is facing two strong challengers in Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel and UCP candidate Laurie Mozeson. It is hard to tell who the front-runner is in this contest, but all three are contenders.

Edmonton-West Henday: NDP MLA Jon Carson is facing a strong challenge from lobbyist and former PC ministerial aide Nicole Williams in this newly redrawn northwest Edmonton district. Carson was elected in 2015 as the MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark, which has at various times switched hands from the NDP, Liberals and PCs going back to the 1980s.

Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville: East of Edmonton this district could produce some interesting results. NDP MLA Jessica Littlewood is running for re-election and her main challenger is UCP candidate Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk. Littlewood is locally renowned for her travel through the constituency, and despite hotly contested nomination races in other districts, Armstrong-Homeniuk was acclaimed for the UCP nod in this district.

Lethbridge-West: As Environment & Parks Minister, Shannon Phillips has been one of the Notley government’s most prominent voices. Phillips has a strong ground game and is as smart as a whip, but the UCP has poured a lot of resources into the campaign of her main challenger, real estate agent Karri Flatla. My money is on Phillips winning re-election, but it could be close.

And here are a few other things I am watching:

Are there any races you are watching that I have missed? Let me know!

8 thoughts on “8 races I am watching on Election Night in Alberta

  1. Nicola Ramsey

    Lesser Slave Lake. The hardcore oil and gas UCP supporting town of Slave Lake vs the mostly First Nations communities, Métis Settlements and reserves who support the NDP.

    Reply
  2. D W

    Armstromg-Homeniuk was acclaimed due to shenanigans involving the location of the meeting and the mysterious dropping out of other nominee John Kropinicki (so?). So I wouldn’t necessary call that a clean win.

    Reply
  3. Ryan H

    How is Derek Fildebrandt’s race not in here somewhere? If nothing else, whatever the result is there it promises entertainment.

    Reply
  4. Ken Ferris

    Edmonton NW. The riding which was mostly Calder has been pushed out which will be more conservative. So-cons will be out if full force to elect Ali over Eggen.

    Reply
  5. jerrymacgp

    Grande Prairie [urban]. Had the current boundaries been in place in 2015, the NDP might very well have taken that seat, and the NDP candidate, Todd Russell, ran a close second behind Todd Loewen—Wildrose then, now UCP up in Central Peace-Notley—in that election. In addition, there are a couple of potential spoiler candidates on the right that could very well pull some anger votes from the UCP’s Tracy Allard: Bernard “the Roughneck” Hancock for Derek Fildebrandt’s vanity-driven Freedom Conservative Party; and Ray Robertson, running for the Alberta Independence Party. With Grant Berg carrying the flag for the Alberta Party, and no Liberal candidate in either Grande Prairie riding, this one might also be one to watch.

    Reply

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