At least three Conservative Members of Parliament from Alberta are expected to face challenges for their nominations ahead of the expected 2019 federal election (news of two of the nomination challenges was first reported by Ryan Hastman in the latest episode of The Daveberta Podcast).
Former Progressive Conservative MLA Moe Amery is challenging Deepak Obhrai for the federal Conservative nomination in Calgary-Forest Lawn.
Obhrai was first elected under the Reform Party banner in 1997 and ran for the Conservative Party leadership in 2017.
Amery served as the MLA for Calgary-East from 1993 until he was defeated in the 2015 election by New Democrat Robyn Luff. He ran twice before he was first elected, placing second behind NDP MLA Barry Pashak in 1986 and 1989. Amery defeated Pashak in 1993.
Gordon Francis is challenging four-term incumbent Mike Lake in Edmonton-Wetaskiwin.
Lake was first elected as the MP for Edmonton-Mill Woods in 2006 and was challenged ahead of the 2015 election by Leduc County Mayor John Whalen and former Edmonton police officer Moe Banga. Banga was disqualified from the nomination and was soon after elected to Edmonton City Council in the Ward 12 by-election called to replace outgoing Councillor Amarjeet Sohi (who was elected as the Liberal MP for Edmonton-Mill Woods).
Francis is on the board of the Leduc-Beaumont United Conservative Party association and was previously involved with the local PC Party Association.
School principal Robert Duiker is challenging incumbent Jim Eglinski for the Conservative nomination in Yellowhead. Duiker is the principal of Rocky Christian School, an alternative program in the Wild Rose School Division located in Rocky Mountain House. He is the former president of the now-defunct Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre Progressive Conservative Association and is now the president of the UCP association in that district.
Ryan Ouderkirk, who works as an executive assistant to Fort McMurray-Cold Lake MP David Yurdiga, is also challenging Eglinski for the nomination.
Carolyne Mackellar of Edson, a campaign assistant for the Nova Scotia PC Party and a former Emergency Medical Technician in Alberta, is also running for he nomination.
Eglinski is a former RCMP Officer and mayor of Fort St. John, B.C., and was first elected to the House of Commons in a 2014 by-election. Eglinski raised some eyebrows earlier this year when he was featured in a Maclean’s magazine article about his participation in Jasper’s annual Pride Week celebrations.
The Conservative Party quietly opened nominations for the next election early this month and, I am told, also closed sales of new memberships for party nominations shortly afterward.