St. Albert's Barry Bailey will be running in the provincial election under the Alberta Party banner.
Bailey announced his candidacy for the St. Albert riding Wednesday afternoon, one day after Premier Rachel Notley called the election.
Over his lifetime, Bailey has worn many hats. The Alberta Party candidate is the former 2015 chair of the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce and has been a St. Albert business owner and resident for 21 years. He has also spent time in the media, in print, radio and broadcast journalism.
The Alberta Party candidate spent the last several years running the Seven Music Festival in the city. He is a published author with three books under his belt.
Despite his diverse background, Bailey has never run for political office before.
Bailey said he was inspired to run after going to some of the early organizational meetings for the Alberta Party, where he said their message really spoke to him.
“It really spoke to me about (being) a centrist place for disaffected voters in Alberta and I think there's a lot of people just like me.”
Before finding the Alberta Party, Bailey felt like he didn’t have a political home.
“I haven't had a place to land in the political landscape."
“I think (the Alberta Party) is coming from a very genuine place. We're going to offer that opportunity to people for people to choose someone to vote for,” Bailey said, adding that in the past, voters have been stuck choosing which party to vote against.
He said the biggest issue facing the St. Albert riding in this election is jobs.
“We need to create an environment that's going to get investment back in the province,” Bailey said.
The business owner, who runs an event business and a bookstore, also said the “layers and layers of tax on small- and medium-sized businesses” need to go.
The candidate said he believes this is one of the most important elections in recent Alberta history.
Bailey will be facing off against incumbent NDP candidate Marie Renaud, the UCP's Jeff Wedman, the Green Party's Cameron Jefferies, Liberal candidate Kevin McLean and Alberta Advantage Party candidate Donald Petruka, as well as Alberta Independence Party candidate Sheldon Gron.
Albertans will head to the polls on April 16.