In a surprise move, Dave Rodney has stepped aside to allow Jason Kenney to run for a seat in Calgary Lougheed.
The question now is, will Notley give a full campaign against Kenney in the by-election and risk a crushing defeat that will be viewed as a bellwether for the next general election or will she go by the old tradition of not running a candidate against a new party leader? Either way it puts Notley in a very difficult position.
Calgary Lougheed is solid conservative country and the NDP only ever came close due to a vote split in the last election. That will not be happening this time around and Lougheed is in Kenney’s stomping ground of South Calgary. No long parachute here.
This also puts the Alberta Party in a tough spot. They need to show that they are a force outside of Calgary Elbow. Can they win a seat in an area with a low concentration of hipsters?
David Khan, the new leader of the Alberta Liberals is in need of a seat as well. He really has little excuse not to contest this seat and will look weak if he doesn’t. Khan will look weak if he is soundly beaten in a by-election a year before a potential general election too.
This is going to be a fun race and I look forward to volunteering on the campaign however I can.
In Kenney’s first day as leader of the United Conservative Party he has managed to put the leaders of every other party in the province on the run. I expect a trend as we see a man preparing a government in waiting rather than maintaining an opposition.