Alberta Politics

Tracking MLA endorsements in the UCP leadership race

Members of the United Conservative Party will be selecting the party’s first permanent leader on October 28, 2017. After of this week’s fee payment deadline, four candidates will be listed on the ballot: Brian Jean, Jason Kenney, Doug Schweitzer and Jeff Callaway.

Of the 28 UCP MLAs represented in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly, nineteen have endorsed candidates in this leadership race (I am including Jean, the only sitting MLA in the contest, who has obviously endorsed himself). Here is a map showing which UCP MLAs have endorsed which leadership candidate as of September 14, 2017.Brian Jean: Leela Aheer (Chestermere-Rocky View), Wayne Anderson (Highwood), Dave Hanson (Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills), Todd Loewen (Grande Prairie-Smoky), Don MacIntyre (Innisfail-Sylvan Lake), Angela Pitt (Airdrie), Ron Orr (Lacombe-Ponoka), Dave Schneider (Little Bow), Pat Stier (Livingstone-Macleod), Glenn van Dijken (Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock), Tany Yao (Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo)

Jason Kenney: Drew Barnes (Cypress-Medicine Hat), Grant Hunter (Cardston-Taber-Warner), Ric McIver (Calgary-Hays), Jason Nixon (Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre), Mark Smith (Drayton Valley-Devon), Rick Strankman (Drumheller-Stettler)

Doug Schweitzer: Wayne Drysdale (Grande Prairie-Wapiti)

4 replies on “Tracking MLA endorsements in the UCP leadership race”

I find it revealing that GP-Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale is backing Doug Schweitzer. Mr Drysdale also backed Dr Richard Starke’s quixotic attempt to counter the Jason Kenney juggernaut for the re-merger PC leadership. It’s clear that Mr Drysdale, who served in a number of cabinet posts during the PC years, does not support the social conservativism of Messrs Jean and Kenney.

I wonder how long Mr Drysdale will stick with the UCP after the leadership vote if either Mr Jean or Mr Kenney wins…

I’ve met Mr Drysdale on a number of occasions, and while he is clearly a Tory, he is also a fundamentally decent man who in my view fits more into the mold of a true Progressive Conservative, aka “Red Tory”, than into that of a hard-right neo-conservative. I can’t see him being very comfortable in a Kenney-led caucus, and depending on how the UCP’s policy convention shakes out, he might not be all that comfortable in a Jean-led caucus either.

There doesn’t seem to be a rush of support by former PC MLA’s to support former PC leader Kenney. I wonder if that is a sign everything is not well on the PC side of UCP land. No rush of support for Kenney in Calgary, with only one MLA endorsing him and also no endorsements for him in Northern Alberta either. Given the UCP has MLA’s throughout most of Alberta (except Edmonton and area) this may indicate his appeal is somewhat geographically limited at this point

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