No candidates yet for Alberta Party leadership race

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Although several St. Albertans have been rumoured to be interested in the leadership race for the Alberta Party, nobody has officially tossed their hat in the ring.

Last month the Alberta Party announced their current leader Greg Clark was stepping down to begin a leadership race for the party.

The St. Albert Alberta Party Constituency Association president Neil Korotash said that he doesn’t know of any local Alberta Party members who are interested in running for the leadership.

Stephen Khan, a former PC cabinet minister and current Alberta Party member, said that he is not running and he believes that the next leader of the party should not be a former Progressive Conservative member. Khan did run for the PC leadership earlier this year before bowing out of the race.

“I think that would send the wrong message. If we are going to do politics differently then we need some Alberta Party people there who are there for all the right reasons,” Khan said.

Nolan Crouse, former mayor of St. Albert, said that he hasn’t ruled out running in the leadership race but has taken no action towards putting together a campaign. Earlier this year Crouse announced he was planning to run in the Alberta Liberal Party leadership race but withdrew less than a month later.

Crouse said that he is still interested in centrist politics and would have attended the Alberta Party AGM if he was not away on a vacation. He said that he still isn’t sure if he wants to go back into politics or enter the private sector. Crouse is not a member of the Alberta Party.

Thomas Lukaszuk, former PC cabinet minister and deputy premier, said that he is considering running for the leadership of the party, but hasn’t made a decision.

“I am definitely considering it but I am very far from arriving at any decision or any conclusion,” Lukaszuk said.

The former PC MLA who lives in St. Albert said that he wants to see how the race will be put together and what the rules will be. The Alberta Party plans to release the rules for the leadership race in the coming weeks. Lukaszuk is not a member of the Alberta Party.

So far, nobody has put their name forward for the leadership race. Korotash thinks it is because the rules for the race haven’t been established yet and because many members support Greg Clark.

“I think people are still in shock that Greg stepped down and it sounds like the vast majority of people at the AGM, Greg had their support,” Korotash said.

Korotash and Khan both said that they would like to see the leadership election pushed back a little bit to allow more time for candidates to organize a campaign.

“I think it’s awfully tough for credible leadership candidates to put together a leadership bid … in two months over the holidays,” Korotash said.

The Alberta Party plans to elect their new leader in February 2018.

Former Morinville Mayor Lisa Holmes, who has been rumoured to be considering a leadership run, could not be reached by press time.

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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.