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2008 Alberta Provincial Election Calgary-Buffalo

alberta election 2008: calgary-buffalo.

In 1986, lawyer and Rhodes Scholar Sheldon Chumir swept into Calgary-Buffalo to become the first Alberta Liberal MLA elected in Calgary since 1967. Chumir was re-elected in 1989 and following his untimely death in 1992, a by-election was held that elected Alberta Liberal Gary Dickson (Dickson faced off against Tory candidate Rod Love). Dickson was re-elected in tight races in 1993 and 1997. In 2001, Dickson retired from politics and is now Information & Privacy Commissioner for the Province of Saskatchewan.

In 2001, police officer Harvey Cenaiko picked up Buffalo for the Tories by defeating Liberal Brian Edy. In 2004, Cenaiko was re-elected after a challenge from Calgary lawyer Terry Taylor (the son of former Alberta Liberal Leader Nick Taylor). With Cenaiko retiring (even though his re-election website is still up and running…), Buffalo is a constituency to watch. If the Alberta Liberals are going to pick up new seats in this city, Buffalo will be on top of that list and hoping to make that a reality is Calgary lawyer Kent Hehr, who is leading the Alberta Liberal charge against Tory candidate Sean Chu.

Kent Hehr may have one of the most interesting backgrounds of any candidate in this election. In 1991, while he was a student at Mount Royal College and playing on the college hockey team, he was a victim of a drive-by shooting that left him quadriplegic – something that obviously hasn’t held him back as he has been named one of the 20 most compelling Calgarians to watch in 2008 by the Calgary Herald and one of the Top 40 under 40 by Calgary Inc. Magazine.

Chu joined the Calgary Police Officer in 1992 after having immigrated to Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 and attending Mount Royal College.

Buffalo is a dense downtown Calgary constituency and has seen enormous growth since the last election. Between 2004 and 2006, the population of Buffalo grew by 21.33% – bringing over 5,200 new voters to the constituency. The over 70% renting population has contributed voter turnout in Buffalo, which had one of the lowest turnouts in the 2004 election. Taking into account Calgary’s apparent dissatisfaction with Ed Stelmach‘ s premiership, I’m giving Kent Hehr the edge in Buffalo, but it still could be close.

Calgary-Buffalo Candidates

Alberta Liberal – Kent Hehr
Green – Steven Rickets
ND – Robert Lawrence
PC – Sean Chu

Calgary-Buffalo Past Election Results

2004
x Harvey Cenaiko, PC – 3,365
Terry Taylor, Lib – 2,815
Grant Neufeld, Grn – 670
Cliff Hesby, NDP – 457
Elizabeth Fielding, SC – 73
Carl Schwartz, AP – 56
Voter Turnout: 31.5%

2001

Harvey Cenaiko, PC – 5,582
Brian Edy, Lib – 4,135
Neil McKinnon, NDP – 473
Dave Schwartz, SC – 113
Voter Turnout: 41.7%

1997

x Gary Dickson, Lib – 4,310
Terri-Lynn Bradford, PC – 4,115
Neil McKinnon, NDP – 547
Raymond Neilson, SC – 300
Ralph Holt, NLP – 115
Turnout: 40.9%

(Enlightened Savage also has a good profile on Calgary-Buffalo)

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