Photo: Tom Olsen, Michaela Glasgo, Thana Boonlert, and Nathan Cooper
With just over one year left until the next provincial election is expected to be called, I am continuing to track potential candidates as they step up to run for party nominations. While some New Democratic Party MLAs have announced their intentions to seek re-election, most activity on the nomination front has come from prospective United Conservative Party nominees.
In Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, where a by-election will be held in the next six months to replace former UCP MLA Don MacIntyre, four candidates have stepped up to run for the UCP nomination. MacIntyre resigned in February after being charged with sexual assault and sexual interference.
More candidates have stepped up to run for party nominations in other districts across the province:
Brooks-Medicine Hat – Michaela Glasgo is seeking the UCP nomination in this newly redrawn southeastern Alberta district. Glasgo is a Constituency Assistant for Cypress-Medicine Hat UCP MLA Drew Barnes and is a contributor to the Story of a Tory blog.
Calgary-Bow – Demetrios Nicolaides is seeking the UCP nomination. Nicolaides is an Associate with the Humphrey Group and is the former vice president of communications for the Progressive Conservative Party and the former president of the PC association in this district. According to his online bio, he holds a PhD in Political Science and Conflict Resolution from the University of Cyprus.
Calgary-Buffalo – Lobbyist Tom Olsen is seeking the UCP nomination in this downtown Calgary district. Olsen is a former Calgary Herald reporter and columnist, and a former Press Secretary for premier Ed Stelmach. He is also the lead singer of Tom Olsen and the Wreckage, who headlined the 2014 PC leadership vote results party.
Calgary-Foothills – Connor Staus is seeking this UCP nomination in this northwest Calgary district. Staus works as a Constituency Assistant for Calgary-Shepard Conservative Member of Parliament Tom Kmiec. This district is currently represented by UCP MLA Prasad Panda, who was elected as a Wildrose Party MLA in a 2015 by-election.
Calgary-Glenmore – Christopher Grabill is seeking the UCP nomination.
Edmonton-Riverview – Shawn McLeod is seeking the UCP nomination in this district which includes the University of Alberta.
Morinville-St. Albert – Former Sturgeon County mayor Don Rigney is seeking the UCP nomination. Rigney served as mayor from 2007 to 2013. He mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the Wildrose nomination in the Athabasca-Redwater district ahead of the 2012 election and was reported as being an applicant in a legal challenge launched in 2015 to prevent then-premier Jim Prentice from calling an early election.
Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills – Nathan Cooper is seeking the UCP nomination. Cooper has served as the MLA for this district since 2015 and was previously elected to Carstairs town council. He served as the interim leader of the UCP in 2017.
Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre – Jason Nixon is seeking the UCP nomination. He has served as the MLA for his district since 2015 and served as the UCP leader in the Legislature in late 2017.
Sherwood Park – Wildrose and UCP caucus researcher Maureen Gough is seeking the UCP nomination in this suburban district east of Edmonton.
Spruce Grove-Stony Plain – Spruce Grove City Councillor Searle Turton is the third candidate to join the UCP nomination race in this district west of Edmonton.
If you know any candidates who have announced their intentions to stand for party nominations, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will add them to the list.