Betty Unger Edmonton-Strathcona Linda Duncan

edmonton-strathcona watch.

With NDP MP Linda Duncan having been the only non-Conservative MP elected in Alberta in the October 2008 election, I expect the Conservatives will pay a lot of attention to Edmonton-Strathcona in 2009.

It may be early, but the rumour mill has already begun generating names of potential Conservative candidates pondering a run in Alberta’s only island of orange. One of the more interesting names I’ve heard mentioned has been Senator-in-waiting Betty Unger.

In 2000, Unger was narrowly defeated by former Liberal MP Anne McLellan when she ran under the Canadian Alliance banner in Edmonton-West. Running a woman candidate with campaign experience in a competitive riding would probably be a good move for the Conservatives as they bid to regain their political monopoly in this province. With Alberta’s next scheduled Senate vacancy until 2011 (when Liberal Senator Tommy Banks turns 75), it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Unger try to jump back into the political arena this early.