It’s that season again! Here’s a rundown on some nomination news for your reading pleasure…
With longtime PC MLA Denis Herard likely retiring at the next election, PGIB (not to be confused with POGOB) Director Craig Chandler is running for the Tory nomination in Calgary-Egmont. No word if any other Tories are challenging Chandler in Egmont.
It’s expected that up to 8-10 Calgary PC MLAs may retire at the next election. The list of suspected retirees includes Richard Magnus (Calgary North Hill), Hung Pham (Calgary Montrose), Moe Amery (Calgary East), Heather Forsyth (Calgary Fish Creek), Yvonne Fritz (Calgary Cross), and Shiraz Shariff (Calgary McCall) – most of who were elected in 1993. It will be interesting to see what type of candidates will line up to run for the Tories now that their party leader wears very short coattails in Calgary – which could result in some very competitive races in that city.
The Liberals have (or will soon have) nominated a number of candidates in Calgary, including Kent Hehr (Calgary Buffalo), Carole Oliver (Calgary Fort), Bill Kurtze (Calgary Hays), and Avalon Roberts (Calgary Glenmore). All current Alberta Liberal MLAs are candidates in the next election.
In Calgary West, prominent Calgary lawyer Virginia May will take on Tory Education Minister Ron Liepert as the Liberal candidate. May led the 2001 defamation lawsuit against former Treasurer Stockwell Day. Calgary West has represented by former Tory Premier Peter Lougheed (1967-1986), PC Elaine McCoy (1986-1993), Liberal Danny Dalla-Longa (1993-1997), PC Karen Kryczka (1997-2004), and Ron Liepert (2004-Present).
Calgary Fort also looks like its setting up to be an interesting race with the Liberals and NDP nominating their candidates early. The Liberals have nominated former CBE Trustee Carole Oliver and the New Democrats have nominated Parkland Institute Outreach Coordinator Julie Hrdlicka. Julie Hrdlicka will be a strong candidate for the New Dems in Calgary, but with 3% support in the recent Calgary Elbow by-election, Calgary New Dems may have to rely on personal appeal to make any sort of dent in Calgary. Tory MLA Wayne Cao has represented Calgary Fort since its creation in 1997.
Lethbridge West PC MLA Clint Dunford is also likely to not seek re-election. First elected in 1993, Dunford has been undergoing cancer treatment over the past year. Lethbridge West has seen tight races between the Tories and Liberals since 1993, so this should be one to watch. Lethbridge East is currently held by Liberal MLA and former Alderwoman Bridget Pastoor.
Many-time City Council candidate Ian Crawford and Federal Liberal organizer and former STARS Physician Dr. Raj Sherman are lining up for the PC nomination in Edmonton Meadowlark. Liberal Maurice Tougas defeated Tory Bob Maskell in 2004 by just over 100 votes, so this should be a race to watch. Meadowlark has elected MLAs from both the Tories and Liberals since its creation in 1971 including PC Gerald Amerongen (1971-1986), Liberal Grant Mitchell (1986-1993), Liberal Karen Leibovici (1993-2001), PC Bob Maskell (2001-2004), and Liberal Maurice Tougas (2004-Present).
Catholic School Trustee Janice Sarich is looking for the Tory nod in Edmonton Decore. If Sarich wins the nomination, she will take on Liberal MLA Bill Bonko – a former Public School Trustee. Edmonton Decore and its previous incarnations have gone Liberal since 1989.
In Edmonton McClung, a number of Tories are lining up to take on Liberal MLA Mo Elsalhy. Allison Boychuk and David Xiao are two candidates looking to carry the Tory flag against Elsalhy – who hasn’t stopped door knocking since he was first elected in 2004. Edmonton McClung was created in 1993 and elected Liberal MLAs Grant Mitchell (1993-1998), Nancy MacBeth (1998-2001), and Tory MLA Mark Norris (2001-2004).
Edmonton Castle Downs went for three judicial recounts following the last election, so you can bet a media spotlight will be hovering over a second showdown between Tory Thomas Lukaszuk and Liberal Chris Kibermanis.
In St. Albert, the three Tories are seeking the nomination: current St. Albert Mayor Paul Chalifoux, former Alderman Ken Allred, and former Council candidate Frances Badrock. Two of these candidates have Federal connections: Chalifoux ran for the Federal Liberals in 1968 and Allred ran for the Reform Party in 1988 (Allred’s nomination ads in the Saint City News make no mention of the PC Party). Chalifoux was narrowly elected as Mayor in 2004 after being defeated by former Mayor Richard Plain in 2001 (Chalifoux served one-term in the Mayor’s chair from 1998-2001 and then defeated Plain in 2004 in a return to the Mayor’s chair). St. Albert has elected MLA’s from three parties in the past 20 years including NDP MLA Bryan Strong (1986-1989), PC Richard Fowler (1989-1993), Liberal Len Bracko (1993-1997), PC Mary O’Neill (1997-2004), and Liberal Jack Flaherty (2004-Present).
In Edmonton Whitemud, former School Trustee Nancy Cavanaugh will be challenging Tory Health Minister Dave Hancock for the Liberals. Hancock is a strong MLA, but past results have shown that Edmonton Whitemud can be a competitive seat (In 1989, Liberal Percy Wickman defeated Tory Premier Don Getty in Edmonton Whitemud). Past MLA’s include Liberal Percy Wickman (1989-1993), Liberal Mike Percy (1993-1997), and Tory Dave Hancock (1997-Present).
On the Green side of the block, a number of candidates have nominated including former leader David Parker (Edmonton Centre), Adrian Cole (Edmonton Strathcona), and Sean Mah (Banff-Cochrane). Look for the Greens to solidify their position as third place in Calgary. The New Democrats have also nominated a handful of first-time candidates including Christina Gray (Edmonton Mill Woods), Deron Bilous (Edmonton Centre), and Rachel Notley (Edmonton Strathcona).