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Alberta Politics

Countdown! UCP and NDP candidate nominations picking up as Alberta election looms

The countdown is on! With just over four months until the next provincial election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party has candidates named in 53 ridings and the Green Party has 26 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Here are the most recent candidate nomination updates:

United Conservative Party

The UCP are actively nominating candidates across the province and by my count currently have nominations open in nine ridings. The governing party paused nominations during their leadership race in 2022 so they are playing catch up, quickly, ahead of the May 29 election day.

Calgary-Lougheed: Max DeGroat is the first person in the race to fill the vacancy left when former premier Jason Kenney resigned as MLA for this southwest Calgary riding in November 2022. DeGroat is the former treasurer of the UCP and was Nicholas Milliken’s campaign manager in Calgary-Currie in 2019. He is a research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and the former director of policy development for the Sustaining Alberta’s Energy Network, an organization formed by Kris Kinnear, who now works on special projects in Premier Danielle Smith’s office in Calgary.

De Groat is launching his campaign as a guest speaker at the Progressive Group for Independent Business luncheon on January 24. PGIB was founded by conservative activist and perennial election candidate Craig Chandler, who was recently caught up in a scandal with former justice minister Jonathan Denis.

Calgary-North East: Harjit Singh Saroya is running for the UCP nomination in the riding is currently represented by cabinet minister Rajan Sawhney. Saroya is the former chairman of the Dashmesh Culture Centre. 

Cypress-Medicine Hat: Food truck owner and recent Medicine Hat city council candidate Justin Wright joins James Finkbeiner and Robin Kurpjuweit in the UCP nomination contest in this southeast Alberta riding.

Lacombe-Ponoka: Jennifer Johnson, Dusty Myrshrall, and Chris Ross will face off for the UCP nomination in a vote on February 17, 2023. Voting will take place in Ponoka in the morning and Lacombe in the afternoon of the nomination day.

Leduc-Beaumont: Heather Feldbusch and Brandon Lunty join former catholic school trustee Karen Richert in the UCP nomination contest. Feldbusch currently works for the Alberta Counsel lobbyists company and is a former UCP political staffer. She is also former trustee on the Leduc Public Library Board and is active with the federal Conservative association in Edmonton-Wetaskiwin. Lunty previously ran for the Wildrose Party in Calgary-South East in 2015 and ran for the UCP nomination in Camrose in 2018.

Lesser Slave Lake: Former cannabis store owner Mitchell Boisvert is appealing the UCP’s decision not to grant him a waiver to run for the party’s nomination. He has not been a member of the party for the required six months so he is seeking an exception to run. 

Parkland-Lac Ste. Anne: UCP MLA Shane Getson is running for his party’s nomination for re-election. Getson was first elected in 2019 and briefly served as the UCP Caucus’ Capital Region Caucus chairperson until he publicly accused people who accepted Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments of wanting to eat cheezies and watch cartoons instead of working. Getson also participated in the anti-COVID 19 restriction Freedom Convoy demonstrations in downtown Edmonton.

Red Deer-South: MLA Jason Stephan announced that he plans to run for re-election and is running for the UCP nomination in Red Deer-South. He’s being challenged by Adele Poratto. Poratto ran for the UCP nomination ahead of the 2019 election and for the Progressive Conservative nomination in 2008. 

Alberta NDP

At this point, the NDP have already nominated candidates in most of the ridings that are considered competitive and within their reach to win in the next election. Now, the party is mostly nominating candidates in ridings that are a more a long shot for the NDP (translation: very conservative rural ridings), but the party does not appear to be parachuting urban candidates in like they might have in previous year. They are trying to recruit local candidates, even if their chances of winning in some of these rural ridings are slim to none.

Calgary-Lougheed: Venkat Akkiraj is running for the NDP nomination. According to Akkiraj’s LinkedIn profile, he has experience with the Ontario NDP as a local campaign organizer and communications director in provincial ridings in Toronto. He recently had an article published in AlbertaViews Magazine about electoral reform. 

Cypress-Medicine Hat: Cypress College founder and former Canadian Armed Forces reservist David Martin is the third candidate in the NDP nomination contest in the south east Alberta riding. Martin will join school trustee Cathy Hogg and retired teacher Tim Gruber in a nomination vote scheduled for February 28

Green Party

The Greens aren’t usually on the radar for most Albertans but they are putting in an effort to run candidates in the next election in both urban, rural and suburban ridings. The party has played a bit of musical chairs with some of their candidates switching ridings, like leader Jordan Wilkie switching from Banff-Kananaskis to Edmonton-Rutherford, and the latest switch listed below.

Jonathan Parks is now running for the Green Party in Calgary-Buffalo. He was previously nominated to run in the neighbouring Calgary-Currie but withdrew his candidacy in that riding earlier this month.

Upcoming nomination meetings

Candidate nomination votes are scheduled for the following dates:

  • February 6 – Innisfail-Sylvan Lake NDP
  • February 13 – Drumheller-Stettler NDP
  • February 15 – Calgary-Klein NDP
  • February 15 – Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre NDP
  • February 17 – Lacombe-Ponoka UCP
  • February 28 – Cypress-Medicine Hat NDP

(If you haven’t already, sign up for the Daveberta Substack. We have some exciting things coming on there soon).

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Alberta Politics

Luke Suvanto wins UCP nomination in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview, Robin Kurpjuweit joins Cypress-Medicine Hat UCP race

As things begin to wrap up for the holidays, this is probably going to be one of the final candidate nomination updates of 2022.

The last scheduled candidate selection meeting was held last night and saw Luke Suvanto defeat Felix Amenaghawon and Lana Palmer to win the United Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview.

Suvanto is President of the federal Conservative electoral district association in Edmonton-Manning and is a leader with the Fort Road Victory Church.

The riding has been represented by NDP MLA Deron Bilous since 2012. Bilous announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election after 3-terms as MLA. Teacher and past NDP president Peggy Wright won the nomination to succeed Bilous as the NDP candidate.

Robin Kurpjuweit enters UCP contest in Cypress-Medicine Hat

Cypress County Councillor Robin Kurpjuweit announced his plans to seek the UCP nomination in Cypress-Medicine Hat. Kurpjuweit was first elected to county council in 2017. He joins former Western Standard VP of Operations James Finkbeiner in the nomination contest.

The riding is currently represented by Independent MLA Drew Barnes, who was elected in 2012 and 2015 as a Wildrose Party candidate and in 2019 under the UCP banner. He was kicked out of the UCP Caucus in May 2021, but unlike his colleague Todd Loewen, he has not rejoined the governing conservative caucus. It is looking increasingly like Barnes won’t rejoin the UCP.

The NDP are expected to hold a nomination meeting in the new year. School trustee Cathy Hogg and former teacher Tim Gruber are seeking the NDP nomination in Cypress-Medicine Hat. Dustin Cartwright is the nominated Green Party candidate.

That’s (almost) a wrap for 2022

While there are no more scheduled nomination votes in the final days of 2022, there are still outstanding UCP nomination results in ridings where acclamations are expected (Edmonton-Rutherford and Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin) and the results of the recount of the UCP nomination in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul has not been released. The vote was sent for a recount at the party’s provincial office after former MLA Scott Cyr finished one vote ahead of incumbent MLA David Hanson.

With less than six months until the next election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 50 ridings and the Green Party has 22 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my nomination updates and shared information about who is in the running. I expect it will be a busy few months of nominations ahead of the May 2023 election, so please keep on sharing your local nomination updates with me.

Don’t forget to vote in the Best of Alberta Politics 2022 survey. Voting is open until December 22 and I will announce the winners shortly after that.

And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the Daveberta Substack. I’m have some fun and exciting news to share about the Substack early in the new year, so don’t miss out.

Thanks.

Dave

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Alberta Politics

Nomination Updates: NDP selects Joan Chand’oiseau in Calgary-West and Dan Nelles in Airdrie-East, Don Whalen declares for UCP in Livingstone-Macleod

With less than six months until the next election is called, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 66 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party have candidates named in 37 ridings and the Green Party has 19 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Here are the latest updates.

NDP

  • Joan Chand'ouiseau NDP candidate Calgary-West
    Joan Chand’ouiseau (source: Joan Chand’ouiseau / Twitter)

    Joan Chand’oiseau was nominated as the Alberta NDP candidate in Calgary-West.

  • Former teacher and Executive Staff Officer with Calgary Public Teachers Dan Nelles was nominated as the NDP candidate for Airdrie-East.
  • Conservationist and author Kevin Van Tighem is expected to be nominated as the NDP candidate in Livingstone-Macleod on November 23.
  • Rajesh Angral is the third candidate to enter the NDP nomination race in Calgary-North. Angral joins Hassan Bokhari and Moses Mariam in contesting the nomination at a December 17 vote.
  • The Fitzhugh, the Jasper Local and the Whitecourt Star have coverage of the NDP contest in West Yellowhead where Fred Kreiner and former Yellowhead County Councillor Lavone Olson are seeking the nomination on December 8.

UCP

  • Don Whalen Livingstone-Macleod UCP Nomination
    Don Whalen (source: Don Whalen / Facebook)

    Don Whalen announced on Facebook that he plans to seek the UCP nomination in Livingstone-Macleod following MLA Roger Reid‘s withdraw and Nadine Wellwood‘s disqualification. He is the former Pastor of the Victory Church of Claresholm.

  • Former mayoral candidate Angela Wood and ministerial press secretary Melissa Crane are seeking the UCP nomination in St. Albert on November 26.
  • The UCP has scheduled a December 11 nomination meeting in Edmonton-South. Past candidate Tunde Obasan and accountant Karen Stix are seeking the nomination at a December 11 vote.
  • The Bonnyville Nouvelle has coverage of the UCP nomination in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul, where MLA David Hanson, former MLA Scott Cyr, and former MD of Bonnyville Reeve Greg Sawchuk are running for the nomination. A vote will be held on December 10, 11 and 12.
  • The Medicine Hat News interviews James Finkbeiner about his announced entry into the UCP nomination contest in Cypress-Medicine Hat.

Green Party

  • Steven Maffioli has been nominated as the Green Party candidate in Calgary-Glenmore

Upcoming nomination meetings

Here are the scheduled upcoming nominations:

  • November 23 – Livingstone-Macleod NDP
  • November 26 – St. Albert UCP
  • December 2 & 3 – Drayton Valley-Devon UCP
  • December 3 – Calgary-Elbow UCP
  • December 4 – Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo UCP
  • December 8 – West Yellowhead NDP
  • December 9 & 10 – Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock UCP
  • December 10, 11, 12 – Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul UCP
  • December 11 – Edmonton-South UCP
  • December 17 – Calgary-North NDP

I am building a list of candidates running for party nominations, so if you are seeking a nomination and would like you name added to the list please let me know. Thanks!

Subscribe to the Daveberta Substack and get my bi-weekly Alberta politics column, like last week’s column about Dr. Deena Hinshaw, delivered straight into your email inbox.

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Alberta Politics

Western Standard’s James Finkbeiner running for UCP nomination in Cypress-Medicine Hat

James Finkbeiner announced on social media that he is seeking the United Conservative Party nomination in Cypress-Medicine Hat.
Finkbeiner was until recently the Vice-President of Operations for the Western Standard, right-wing news website run by former UCP MLA and Canadian Taxpayers Federation spokesperson Derek Fildebrandt. Before joining the Western Standard, Finkbeiner was general manager of an oilfield services company.
Drew Barnes Wildrose MLA Cypress Medicine Hat
Drew Barnes (source: Dave Cournoyer)

Incumbent Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes was kicked out of the UCP Caucus in 2021 after becoming one of former Premier Jason Kenney’s loudest critics inside the party. He hasn’t ruled out rejoining the UCP but he is also seriously considering running for re-election as an Independent candidate.

Barnes was first elected in 2012 as a member of Danielle Smith’s Wildrose Party and did not cross the floor in 2014. He was re-elected as a Wildrose candidate in 2015 and under the UCP banner in 2019.
Despite serving as official opposition finance critic before the UCP formed government in 2019, Barnes was left out of Kenney’s and Smith’s cabinets. He has publicly advocated for the creation of the Ministry of Autonomy, which he would like to lead.

Rowswell acclaimed in Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright

Garth Rowswell Vermilion Lloydminster Wainwright United Conservative Party Election Alberta
Garth Rowswell

UCP MLA Garth Rowswell was acclaimed as his party’s candidate in Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright.

A financial advisor, Rowswell was first elected in 2019 after winning a hotly contested nomination race in 2018.
The NDP have nominated Dawn Flaata in the east central Alberta riding.

Other nomination updates

  • The UCP have scheduled a nomination vote in Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock on December 9 and 10. Second-term MLA Glenn van Dijken is being challenged by 24-year old Westlock County Councillor Isaac Skuban.
  • Globe and Mail journalist Carrie Tait reports that incumbent MLA Roger Reid will not reenter the UCP nomination contest in Livingstone-Macleod even after Nadine Wellwood’s disqualification was upheld. The vacancy has sparked speculation that Premier Smith, who lives in the riding, may run for re-election there in 2023. 

Total nominated candidates

The NDP have nominated candidates in 64 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 37 ridings and the Green Party has 18 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Here are the scheduled upcoming nominations:

  • November 16 – Calgary-West NDP
  • November 20 – Airdrie-East NDP
  • November 23 – Livingstone-Macleod NDP
  • November 26 – St. Albert UCP
  • December 2 & 3 – Drayton Valley-Devon UCP
  • December 3 – Calgary-Elbow UCP
  • December 4 – Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo UCP
  • December 8 – West Yellowhead NDP
  • December 9 & 10 – Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock UCP
  • December 17 – Calgary-North NDP

I am building a list of candidates running for party nominations, so if you are seeking a nomination and would like you name added to the list please let me know. Thanks!

Subscribe to the Daveberta Substack and get my bi-weekly Alberta politics column delivered straight into your email inbox.