United Conservative Party MLA Rajan Sawhney announced in a Facebook post that she will not seek re-election as MLA for Calgary-North East.
Today, I met with Premier Smith to inform her that I will not be seeking the nomination and re-election for Calgary-North East. I will continue to serve as the MLA for Calgary-North East until the end of this mandate.
Serving as the MLA for this constituency and as a Minister of several portfolios, under both the Honourable Jason Kenney and Honourable Premier Smith, has been a tremendous honour and a great privilege. I thank both of these great leaders for the opportunities they have afforded me to serve in their Cabinets. I continue to be a strong supporter of Premier Smith and her leadership and I look forward to the United Conservative Party forming government again after May of this year.
I would like to thank my colleagues, my team, my supporters and most of all, my family for their unconditional and unwavering support over the past many years.
Finally, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to my constituents in Calgary-North East for placing their trust and faith in me as their MLA.
Sawhney was first elected to the Legislature in 2019 and has since served as Minister of Community & Social Services from 2019 to 2021 and Minister of Transportation from 2021 until 2022. She ran for the UCP leadership in 2022, finishing sixth on the first and second ballots. She was appointed Minister of Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism in October 2022.
The well-liked and respected Sawhney was voted Best Alberta Cabinet Minister of 2022 in the most recent Best of Alberta Politics Survey.
She was facing a nomination challenge from Inderjit Grewal and Harjit Singh Saroya. The Alberta NDP have nominated Gurinder Brar to run in the north east Calgary riding.
Johnson wins 3-way UCP race in Lacombe-Ponoka
Jennifer Johnson defeated Lacombe City Councillor Chris Ross and paramedic Dusty Myshrall to win the UCP nomination in Lacombe-Ponoka.
Despite Myshrall having endorsements from UCP Justice Minister Tyler Shandro, Highwood MLA R.J. Sigurdson and former Ponoka mayor Larry Henkelman, sources tell me that Johnson won with more than 70 per cent of the votes cast.
Johnson was endorsed by former Saskatchewan cabinet minister Rob Norris and is said to have had the support of Take Back Alberta-connected organizers (CBC published a story about the TBA dynamic on this face last week). Her social media feed showed her attending events organized by the separatist Alberta Prosperity Project and COVID-19 skeptical Canadians For Truth group.
Incumbent UCP MLA Ron Orr is not seeking re-election after two terms in office.
Other nomination updates
With exactly 100 days left until Election Day, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 73 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party has candidates named in 59 ridings and the Green Party has 27 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 5 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.
Here are two more additions to the list of nomination candidates:
- Wood Buffalo municipal councillor Funke Banjoko is running as an independent candidate in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. “Each of these parties all have their own good ideas. But right now, there’s so much division,” Banjoko told Fort McMurray Today. “I want to run as an independent for the benefit of residents of this region and not for ideologies or politics.”
- Marketing company owner Nolan Dyck is running for UCP nomination in Grande Prairie. Dyck also serves as a the Connections Manager at the Peace River Bible Institute. Current UCP MLA Tracy Allard is not running for re-election.
- Ali Haymour is running for the UCP nomination in Edmonton-North West. Haymour will be a familiar name to north Edmonton voters, having previously run for City Council in 2017 and 2021, and as the Alberta Party candidate in Edmonton-Decore in 2019 and the NDP candidate in Edmonton-Castle Downs in 2008 and 2012.
Also of note, Central Peace-Notley UCP MLA Todd Loewen is hosting a February 25 fundraiser for St. Albert UCP candidate Angela Wood at the Fox Creek Community Hall in his northern Alberta riding.
This kind of thing is not unheard of. Earlier this month, supporters in Edmonton hosted a fundraiser for Calgary-Glenmore NDP candidate Nagwan Al-Guneid.
Upcoming nomination meetings
Candidate nomination votes are currently scheduled for the following dates:
- February 22 – Edmonton-Manning UCP
- February 23 – Calgary-Fish Creek UCP
- February 23 – Edmonton-Whitemud UCP
- February 25 – Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock NDP
- February 25 & 26 – Lesser Slave Lake UCP
- February 28 – Cypress-Medicine Hat NDP
- March 1 – Edmonton-Meadows UCP
- March 2 – Edmonton-West Henday UCP
- March 4 – Red Deer-South UCP
- March 5 – Calgary-Bhullar-McCall UCP
- March 14 – Calgary-Lougheed NDP
- March 14 – Lethbridge-West UCP
The Daveberta Substack
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