Spruce Grove-St. Albert NDP MLA Trevor Horne has told the Gazette he will no longer be seeking a provincial seat in the upcoming spring election.
Horne, who was elected in 2015 along with a tidal wave of his NDP colleagues, ran for the NDP nomination in the St. Albert riding against current St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud last month. After Renaud won that nomination, Horne said he would be weighing his options to decide if he would run in another riding.
In the end, Horne decided he would not look to run for a seat in another riding.
“A lot of it came down to the job of an MLA. It's a lot of community work. You're always being asked to attend events and build on those relationships and those connections with people,” Horne said.
“So I felt that to do that, I needed to be running in a constituency (where) I felt I had those connections.”
Horne decided to run in the St. Albert riding after his current riding was chopped up and parceled out to other areas, thanks to the Electoral Boundaries Commission rejigging the province's ridings. The Spruce Grove-St. Albert riding got divided between the main St. Albert riding, Spruce Grove-Stony Plain, Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland and Morinville-St. Albert.
When he originally weighed his options for re-election, Horne, a St. Albert native, decided he wanted to run in the constituency he grew up in and where he currently lives. The nomination battle between him and Renaud was the first NDP contested race in the province for the 2019 election cycle.
While he has now decided to sit out the 2019 election, he is not closing the door on politics forever.
“(I have) complicated feelings with it. It’s been a huge honour to serve my constituency and we have done a lot of great work,” Horne said, adding he will enjoy getting a bit more free time once he leaves the job.
Looking forward, Horne said he is still considering his options. The MLA still has three university courses to wrap up at MacEwan University to earn a Bachelors degree in political science. He said he still wants to be engaged in politics despite not holding a seat.
“Whether or not I run again, I suppose only the future will tell. I'm not ruling it out any sense of the term,” he said, adding he wants to help his colleagues get re-elected to their seats.
“We've done a lot of great work and I want to see that work continue and of course the alternatives at this point (don't) work very good at all,” Horne said.
The MLA is one of many NDP incumbents who will not be taking part in the upcoming provincial election.
Earlier this week, Infrastructure Minister and former member of the PC party Sandra Jansen and Strathcona-Sherwood Park MLA Estefania Cortes-Vargas announced they would not be seeking re-election in the spring.
Other members of the party not running for re-election include Transportation Minster Brian Mason, Speaker Bob Wanner, Edmonton-Whitemud MLA Bob Turner, Calgary-Acadia MLA Brandy Payne, Calgary-Northern Hills MLA Jamie Kleinsteuber and Calgary-Hawkwood MLA Michael Connolly.
So far, the NDP have nominated 41 of 87 candidates for the upcoming election, compared to 79 nominated by the UCP, 60 by the Alberta Party, 13 by the Liberal Party, eight by the Green party and one for each the Alberta Advantage Party and the Freedom Conservative Party.