Three candidates hoping to be the Progressive Conservative nominee in the Spruce Grove-St. Albert riding will get a second crack at winning the nomination after a few of the ballots cast during the nomination vote Feb. 21 were found to be ineligible.
Rus Matichuk was declared the nominee after the Saturday vote in Spruce Grove, but found out earlier this week he’d have to re-run.
It was announced on Wednesday there would be a second round of voting because the party had discovered that four people from outside the constituency had cast ballots.
The re-vote is scheduled for March 14 at the Pioneer Centre in Spruce Grove from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Candidates Kathleen Range, Neil Korotash and Matichuk all confirmed Wednesday afternoon they plan to run again.
“It’s one of those things. It really was quite a shock to hear the news yesterday,” Range said.
Since the results were announced on Feb. 21 she’s received “endless” emails and calls from disappointed supporters. Interviewed a short while after the need for a re-vote became public knowledge, she said she was already being encouraged to run again.
“Really I have no choice but to answer the call of people who have supported me,” Range said.
Korotash said he’d “absolutely” be running again, adding he was surprised to hear about what happened.
“We just need to make sure it’s a fair and equitable process for everyone involved so this is what needs to happen,” Korotash said.
Matichuk said the turn of events is disappointing but is hoping this means more people will come out to cast ballots.
“It also shows the importance of people getting out to vote,” he said.
Kelley Charlebois, executive director of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta said that the ineligible ballots were an “innocent mistake” that could have been a result of a misunderstanding of the riding boundaries. The error was caught when a standard review of was conducted after the vote Saturday.
“We had a little complication,” Charlebois said on Wednesday afternoon.
In the interest of fairness, since the vote was very close – though the party wouldn’t disclose the ballot numbers – the PC’s provincial nomination committee decided the best way to handle the issue was to have a re-vote.