Three months ago after the party cancelled a previous nomination contest it looked like almost nobody wanted to run for the United Conservative Party in Livingstone-Macleod. Now there are five candidates in the race to replace retiring MLA Roger Reid.
Town of Claresholm mayor Chelsae Petrovic is the fifth candidate to jump into the UCP nomination contest in the sprawling south west Alberta riding, joining Tanya Clemens, Christina Lee, Kevin Todd, and Don Whalen.
Petrovic was elected to her first 4-year term as mayor in October 2021 and appears to have already collected $1000 in online donations for her nomination run.
A date for the nomination vote hasn’t been set yet but this is actually the second time the UCP has had to hold a nomination race in Livingstone-Macleod.
With Reid announcing he would not run for re-election the day after the October 31, 2022 candidate entry deadline, former People’s Party candidate and Freedom Convoy-enthusiast Nadine Wellwood was left as the lone candidate in the race. Wellwood’s supporters claimed they sold more than 800 UCP memberships in the riding but her promotion of debunked COVID-19 treatments like ivermectin and comparisons of vaccine passports to policies enacted by the Nazi Germany led the UCP to reject her acclamation.
So the UCP was left without a candidate in what was a very safe riding in 2019.
Overshadowing all this is the Premier of Alberta, who actually lives in the riding but was elected in a by-election elsewhere.
Danielle Smith announced in March 2022 that she would challenge Reid for the UCP nomination but after she won the party leadership he gave no indication he was interested in resigning to let her run in a by-election. Instead, Brooks-Medicine Hat MLA Michaela Frey resigned to allow Smith to run in a by-election in that riding, which she won handily.
Smith has not been officially nominated to run in either riding in the next election but the crowded race in her home riding suggests she is sticking with Brooks-Medicine Hat.
The Alberta NDP have nominated well-known conservationist Kevin Van Tighem. The author and former superintendent of Banff National Park has been an outspoken opponent of open-pit coal mining in the Rocky Mountains, an issue that drew widespread opposition from municipal leaders and ranchers in the region.
Other nomination updates
Here are some of the latest updates to the list of Alberta election nomination candidates:
Calgary-Fish Creek: The United Conservative Party will hold a nomination vote on February 23. Three candidates have entered the race: Dave Guenter, Myles McDougall, and Christina Steed. Steed has been endorsed by outgoing UCP MLA Richard Gotfried and Guenter has an endorsement from Grande Prairie-Mackenzie Conservative MP Chris Warkentin.
Calgary-Lougheed: Michelle Mather is the third candidate to enter the UCP nomination contest in this south west Calgary riding formerly represented by newly hired Bennett Jones employee Jason Kenney. Max DeGroat and Mark Fieslier are already in the race.
Calgary-Varsity: The Alberta Party will announce its candidate in this north west Calgary riding at an event on February 12.
Edmonton-McClung: Past city council candidate Daniel Heikkinen and oral surgeon Terry Vankka are seeking the UCP nomination in this south west Edmonton riding. A nomination meeting is scheduled for February 10.
Edmonton-North West: Tyler Beaulac has been nominated as the Green Party candidate.
Edmonton-Whitemud: UCP Caucus staffer Varun Chandrasekar will challenge former Liberal Party leader Raj Sherman for the UCP nomination. Sherman attempted to run for the UCP leadership in 2022 but was not granted a waiver to join the race when he did not meeting the membership requirements.
Red Deer-North: Heather Morigeau is running for the Green Party. Morigeau was previously nominated as the party’s candidate in Calgary-Buffalo but withdrew from the nomination in that riding last month.
Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre: Carrie Tait has a report about the Take Back Alberta-backed revolt against embattled MLA and former finance minister Jason Nixon and the right-wing group’s effort to overturn his nomination as the UCP candidate in the riding.
Sherwood Park: Sue Timanson is the Alberta Party candidate in this suburban riding just east of Edmonton. Timanson was the party’s candidate in 2019, when she earned 13.1 per cent of the vote.
Upcoming nomination meetings
Candidate nomination votes are currently scheduled for the following dates:
- February 6 – Innisfail-Sylvan Lake NDP
- February 10 – Edmonton-McClung UCP
- February 13 – Drumheller-Stettler NDP
- February 15 – Calgary-Klein NDP
- February 15 – Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre NDP
- February 17 – Lacombe-Ponoka UCP
- February 23 – Calgary-Fish Creek UCP
- February 23 – Edmonton-Whitemud UCP
- February 25 – Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock NDP
- February 28 – Cypress-Medicine Hat NDP