MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills Nathan Cooper has officially announced he will be seeking the nomination of the United Conservative Party to run in the next provincial election.
The political landscape has changed much since the last provincial election. The Wild Rose Party and the Conservative Party have united, and each Constituency Association will be holding a nomination to select candidates for the new party.
“I really feel blessed to have such a broad, deep, and motivated team supporting both my candidacy and my family,” said Cooper. “This is exactly what Alberta needs going into next year’s general election.”
“Defeating the NDP is vital for the future of our communities and our province. This isn’t just about the next election. It’s about the next 30 years. It’s about rebuilding Alberta’s foundations for our children, and our children’s children.”
In making his bid, he has received support from many community leaders including former MLA and Ethics Commissioner Bob Clark, former MLA Connie Ostermann and mayors, and councillors throughout the riding.
I am very pleased with all the people who came from all across the constituency to the launch (April 5),” he said. “Politics is really a team sport and last night was as much about a team as it was about me.”
He says one thing that excites him about the upcoming race is that the constituency boundaries are new.
“The new constituency runs right up to the Drumheller city limits and includes all of Rosebud, Hussar, Rockyford, and Standard. So, I am really looking forward to getting to know constituents in that new region of the constituency as well.”
He says at this point, a nomination process has not been set. He explains the party is working on finalizing the nomination rules. The Party has opened up nominations in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake where former MLA Don MacIntyre resigned and in Fort McMurray-Conklin, Brian Jean’s former riding.
“From what I understand there is a set of rules that will be used for those two nominations. As to whether those will be the set of nomination rules that are applied across the board for the other 87 constituencies when it comes to the 2019 election, I don’t know,” he said.
“It is really important from my perspective that we get out there now and really start meeting folks, engaging our membership, and trying to grow our membership even larger across the constituency.”
He believes it is important that the nomination process is fair.
“Jason Kenney made that commitment during his leadership race that every nomination race would be open and a democratic process would take place, I see no evidence to the contrary and I know he remains committed to that process.”
While he does not know when the nomination process will begin, he feels it is important that constituents know where he stands.
“I think it is important, for myself, that we are ready, that we’ve engaged members and that the work is done over the next number of months. I have no idea when the nomination may or may not open, but I think letting folk know this is my intention is a fair and reasonable thing to do.”