A second candidate for the St. Albert UCP nomination contest has thrown his hat in the ring in the race for the next provincial election.
Brian Horak, a local lawyer, is squaring off for the nomination against Jeff Wedman, who announced his campaign in April.
The father of two said that he has always been a lifelong political junkie and decided to take the leap this year to pursue his passion.
“I’ve been a political geek for my entire life,” said Horak who added he was always debating politics with his friends as a high school student.
Horak has spent time with both the PC party and Wildrose party before his candidacy under the United Conservative banner.
The 42-year-old grew up in Edmonton and Strathcona County, and first became involved in politics as a young high school student.
Horak said when he was 15 years old, he was inspired by a local candidate in the nomination race for the PC party. Horak decided to join the party and assist in the candidate's campaign. The candidate was not selected to represent the party in the riding, but Horak was hooked and stuck with the party.
By the time he went to college, Horak’s priorities shifted and he began to focus on school and then his family. It wasn’t until Allison Redford was leading the PCs that he was inspired to jump back into politics.
“I was very disappointed with the PCs and with her leadership, and it was so bad that it motivated me to get involved again,” Horak noted, but this time around he joined the Wildrose Party.
Horak is a general practice lawyer at Insight Law. Horak has also spent time as a journeyman millwright and as an investigator with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
He sees his eclectic career as his strength in the nomination race and as a representative of the riding. Horak said he has gained valuable experience while working in both the public and private sectors.
Horak says that the economy is the number one issue facing both the St. Albert region and the province right now. The lawyer has worked downtown most of his life and said that there are significantly fewer people and cars than there were during the oil booms of the past.
“We hear that there has been recovery but it is really tough to see,” Horak said.
Candidates for the new United Conservative Party have already filed paperwork and declared their intentions to run in the St. Albert, Morinville-St. Albert and Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland ridings.
Current Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock UCP MLA Glenn van Dijken has already submitted his paperwork to run in the new Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock riding.
Donald Rigney, Amber Harris, Trina Jones and Dale Nally have all submitted their paperwork to run under the UCP banner in Morinville-St. Albert.
The new riding of Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland, which is home to part of Sturgeon County, has five contestants running for the UPC nomination in the riding. Jerry Molnar, Leah Wood, Everett Normandeau, Dale Johnson and Barbara Costache have all submitted their paperwork with the province.
Nomination races are expected to take place through the summer and fall.