Bracko announces senate bid
Senate election expected as part of provincial campaign next spring
By: By Ryan Tumilty
| Posted: Saturday, Dec 10, 2011 06:00 am
A St. Albert city councillor is setting his sights on the red chamber, with a plan to run in this spring’s planned Senate elections.
Coun. Len Bracko announced his plans to run as an independent in Senate elections scheduled to take place with a provincial vote sometime between March and May.
Bracko said he has the diverse experience a senator would need to be effective in the red chamber.
“I know the provincial scene, I know the municipal scene and I have been on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities board for five years,” he said. “I want to continue building Canada as I have worked to build my municipality, my province and now my country.”
Bracko served as a Liberal MLA in the provincial legislature from 1993 to 1997 and is serving his fifth term as a city councillor. In line with federal Liberal policy on senate elections, the provincial Liberal party does not run Senate candidates.
He said he would be running as an independent in any case because he believes the Senate should be more removed from party politics.
“The Senate should not be party oriented; it must be more independent. I think I am a free spirit and I would want to work for all Albertans.”
When talking with Albertans, especially young people, Bracko says he gets the sense they are not interested in political ideology.
“They are not party-oriented. They want practical solutions and that is what I give them.”
Bracko said that is also why he is running for the Senate as opposed to trying to become a member of Parliament.
“This gives me an opportunity where I can run as an independent and take the best ideas of all Albertans. This is what Albertans want. They are not into ideology.”
Running for the position will take up some time, but it won’t interfere with his current duties as a city councillor, Bracko said.
Mayor Nolan Crouse said Bracko has been a tireless public servant and he is not surprised to see him taking this step.
“Len is a complete person in terms of his contribution to society, he puts his money where his mouth is; he donates his time, his energy, his money.”
Crouse said Bracko is very well known throughout the province from his work with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and he expects he will garner widespread support.
So far there are four candidates who have declared their intention to run. Scott Tannas, Doug Black and Leduc Mayor Greg Krischke have said they will run as Progressive Conservatives, while Vitor Marciano has already been nominated to run as a member of the Wildrose Party.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has encouraged provinces to hold Senate elections and has said he will appoint senators-in-waiting as vacancies become available, but there is nothing binding a prime minister to appoint an elected senator.