DJ’s Lounge was filled with cheers Monday night as NDP incumbent Marie Renaud was declared the winner of the St. Albert provincial election.
Renaud took some 58 per cent of the vote in the St. Albert riding to handily win re-election. UCP challenger Angela Wood took about 40 per cent, with Green Party candidate Cameron Jefferies earning roughly two per cent.
“I’m super excited and incredibly grateful to the people of St. Albert for voting for me,” Renaud said Monday night.
Renaud speculated that her team of dedicated volunteers helped her connect with St. Albert voters. Wood had spent a lot of money on ads, but Renaud said she and her team had been out door-knocking and talking with voters ever since the last election.
“We focused on people,” she said.
Heath Ryerse, who worked on Renaud’s campaign, said he was not surprised by the results.
“Feedback at the doors door-knocking was fantastic,” he said, with nine out of 10 people speaking positively of Renaud.
“I’m super excited Marie will be representing St. Albert again.”
Renaud said voters at the doors told her that they wanted a government they could trust, and were concerned about education, affordability, and health care.
“Right now the UCP has repeatedly said (health care) is fixed. It’s not.”
The 60-odd people in the lounge cheered NDP wins as the night wore on, and booed loudly as UCP leader Danielle Smith was declared re-elected. They were still upbeat as the UCP won a majority government, chatting about votes gained and vowing to do better next time.
UCP incumbent Dale Nally defended his seat in Morinville-St. Albert, beating NDP challenger Karen Shaw 13,270 to 11,765 in a race that stayed tight all night. Wayne Rufiange of the Alberta Party placed third with 578 votes, while Green Party candidate Kurt Klingbeil trailed with 227.
Renaud said she would take time to think about the results of the election, but vowed to continue to represent St. Albert residents.
“I’m just sad right now because Karen Shaw would have been just a fantastic MLA for Morinville-St. Albert,” Renaud said.
Shaw was upbeat despite the results, saying she and her team had run an excellent campaign and could be proud of what they achieved.
“We got more votes than (Edmonton-Glenora NDP candidate) Sarah Hoffman!” she quipped. (Hoffman was re-elected with about 12,400 votes.)
Shaw said she was unsure if she would run for MLA again in a future election. In the near term, she planned to get back to work on her Sturgeon County farm.
“I’m going to go fix fences and put the cows out to pasture, but I’m still going to stand up for what I believe in and I’m still going to stand up for people,” she said.