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Alberta Politics

scott mckeen running for liberal party leader?

Scott McKeen talks to reporters at Edmonton City Hall on the first day of the 2010 municipal elections.

Is former Edmonton Journal columnist Scott McKeen preparing to seek the leadership of the Liberal Party of Alberta?

Mr. McKeen has been coy about his political future following his unsuccessful City Council bid against Councillor Tony Caterina in October 2010 and sources tell me that Mr. McKeen may be the first candidate to enter the Liberal Party’s yet to begin leadership contest.

Coincidental to these rumours is the new job of Mr. McKeen’s Council campaign manager Brian Leadbetter, who will become the Director of Communications for the Liberal Caucus this week.

Contributing to some intrigue online, Mr. McKeen’s near dormant Twitter account has recently attracted two notable followers, Liberal Chief of Staff Rick Miller and former MLA Mo Elsalhy.

As a seasoned civic affairs columnist and long-time journalist, I thought that he would have been a good City Councillor, but Leader of the Official Opposition in Alberta is a completely different ballgame. That party desperately needs new blood and Mr. McKeen would be an interesting choice if these rumours end up being true.

Almost two weeks after leader David Swann announced that the would not lead his party into the next election, the contest to replace him remains quiet with only speculation about who may stand. Despite its dysfunctionalities, there are a few political perks to becoming leader of the Liberal Party in Alberta. That party’s new leader will be, at least until the next election or massive round of floor-crossings, the Leader of the Official Opposition.

MLA Hugh MacDonald at the December 2010 healthcare rally at the Legislature.

Meanwhile, three of the province’s eight Liberal MLAs are also said to be testing the waters for their own leadership bids – Edmonton-Gold Bar MLA Hugh MacDonald, Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman, and Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr.

UPDATE: Mr. McKeen sent me a kind email this morning stating that “No, I’m not running for Liberal leadership. Not considering it. Nor will I.”

5 replies on “scott mckeen running for liberal party leader?”

Sure, because Scott doesn’t have a history of repeatedly claiming that he’ll never run and then jumping into a race at the last minute.

“I hereby state, and mean all that I say, that I never have been and never will be a candidate for President; that if nominated by either party, I should peremptorily decline; and even if unanimously elected I should decline to serve.” — William Tecumseh Sherman

AB Lib need to get with the program and stop being delusional. Political re-alignment on a massive scale is underway in Alberta. When the dust settles, there will be two new main parties, and three old rumps.

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