Alberta Politics

doug griffiths enters tory contest, brings big name establishment support.

As expected, yesterday morning Battle River-Wainwright MLA Doug Griffiths entered the contest to replace Premier Ed Stelmach as leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party. As I posted yesterday, I believe that Mr. Griffiths will be an interesting addition to a leadership contest that has so far been less than exciting.

At his campaign announcement, Mr. Griffiths highlighted five areas that his leadership campaign will focus on, including K-12 education, land stewardship and environmental issues, government reform, developing solutions for healthcare, and reinvigorating the PC Party.

His opponents will likely use his age (38) and lack of cabinet experience to downplay the seriousness of his candidacy, but his position as an underdog and outsider may be easily disputed by support from a big-name Tory insider.

The address listed for the "Doug Griffiths 2011 Campaign Fund" belongs to long-time PC insider Brian Heidecker.

A quick reverse address search on reveals that the mailing address listed for the “Doug Griffiths 2011 Campaign Fund“, 220 Wolf Willow Road, is also listed as a home address B. Heidecker.

Brian Heidecker is a big name in the PC Party establishment. As the current Chair of University of Alberta Board of Governors, a unapologetic former political appointee to the Alberta Treasury Branches Board and Alberta Securities Commission, and a former PC Party Vice-President, his support will establish credibility for Mr. Griffiths’ campaign among PC insiders. Not coincidentally, Mr. Heidecker is a retired rancher and owns a 16,000-acre ranch near Coronation, which is also Mr. Griffiths’ hometown.

The suggestion that Mr. Heidecker is a fundraiser on this leadership campaign might be a subtle signal to the PC establishment that Mr. Griffiths is a more credible candidate than his opponents may want that party’s members to believe.

5 replies on “doug griffiths enters tory contest, brings big name establishment support.”

There is nothing exciting or interesting about Griffiths, he’s just another no name spoke in the rusty PC wheel.

A three term MLA who never once went against the party line.

Dave, I don’t think Griffiths is going to be painted as lacking experience by his opponents, in fact his so-called “lack of experience” may be his best asset in the race. I think what is more likely is that he will be portrayed as the next version of Stelmach, albeit younger and more technically savvy. (You won’t be able to buy his url Dave!)

The PC Party seems to be gearing up to aim for a “strong” candidate. A candidate who will be aggressive in returning the party to prominence, particularly in dealing with the WRA threat on the right. I think you will see some of the contenders treat Griffiths as the nice guy who everyone likes in an attempt to sway his supporters to their team for the second ballot. This makes Griffiths not only dangerous, but also a potential king -maker for a second ballot race.

Doug may not win and become Premier. But don’t count out the potential Deputy Premier spot, especially should a Calgary contender win….

Before Doug entered the race I was seriously considering changing my vote from PC in the next election to another party.

Doug is the change the PC party needs. As a younger voter and a rural one, I can relate to Doug and I believe so will others.

The other candidates seem like more of the same thing.

As for those who will compare him to Steady Eddie, I think they will be surprised. Just becuase he is from a rural constituancy does not make him the same.

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