Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Race for Airdrie

A new constituency built from the former Airdrie-Chestermere, this riding includes not just its namesake community but also the areas north and west. Rob Anderson was elected here as a Progressive Conservative in 2008. Carol Haley, also a PC, represented the area from 1993 to 2008.

Home to a burgeoning bedroom community and large homesteads, Airdrie is a study in contrasts. Roads, policing, and character are all likely to be ballot questions.

As I'll be physically IN this constituency on Election Day for a completely unrelated matter, I'll be posting updates throughout the day based on what I'm hearing from the locals.

The Candidates:
Rob Anderson (WRP)
Kelly Hegg (PC)
Jeff Willerton (Ind.)
Bryan Young (NDP)

Rob Anderson was elected the MLA for Airdrie-Chestermere as a Progressive Conservative in 2008, with 63% of the vote. Less than 2 years later, after being left out of a cabinet shuffle, he crossed the floor with much fanfare to the Wildrose Alliance. He has developed a reputation for being a particularly dogged critic of the government since joining the opposition benches (his undergraduate degree was in Communications, from BYU), and is said to be a very ambitious young man regarding his future in his new party.

Kelly Hegg has served as an Alderman on Airdrie City Council since 2004. The school principal is an active volunteer with his church, and rounded off his Education degree with an MA in Administration. He has 2 teenagers, so it might be a favour to get him a job in Edmonton (if they're anything like the Teenaged Savage was). He defeated former Airdrie Mayor Linda Bruce for the PC nomination.

Jeff Willerton was a candidate for the Wildrose Alliance party leadership in 2009. He has run for office 5 times before, including against Rob Anderson in Airdrie-Chestermere as the Wildrose candidate in 2008, finishing 2nd with 16% of the vote. The author and conservative firebrand wrote a noteworthy letter in his pursuit of the Wildrose crown - including interesting opinions and insight into gay marriage, abortion, and Danielle Smith.

Bryan Young ran in Airdrie-Chestermere for the NDP in 2008 - less than a year after graduating from high school - and finished 5th, with 4% of the vote. Marty Lawrence did a great interview with the candidate, on Young's biggest issues are health, education, and raising energy royalties.

As of press time, the Liberals, EverGreen Party and Alberta Party had not nominated candidates for Airdrie.

An all-candidates forum is scheduled for Monday, April 16 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Bert Church Theatre - 1010 East Lake Blvd.


Anonymous said...

Hey ES thanks for the post. You make it sound as if Anderson's riding is in jeopardy which, if you were privy to polling is clearly not. He is going to win this one by a landslide! I don't think your election day updates are going to be all that interesting... but have fun in Airdrie anyway because it's a great place!

Enlightened Savage said...

Thanks Anon,

I really doubt that Anderson is in jeopardy. Polling numbers or not, he's a popula and high profile MLA with deep connections in the community. It takes a lot to beat an incumbent like that.

All that said, though, the other candidates are going to be trying their best, and the voters will choose - and nobody wins until the last vote gets counted. :)

I used to work in Airdrie - I agree, it's a wonderful community, full of good people. :)