St. Albert’s two NDP MLAs will be squaring off for the same nomination in December.
On Wednesday afternoon, St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud announced her intention to seek the NDP nomination for the 2019 provincial election in the St. Albert riding. Spruce Grove-St. Albert MLA Trevor Horne confirmed Wednesday he will also be throwing his hat into the ring for the riding's nomination.
This is the first riding in the province this election cycle where an incumbent NDP MLA is being challenged for the nomination. The winner will face off against candidates from other parties when the election itself rolls around.
Horne had been weighing his options for several months, after his riding was sliced up in recent changes to the electoral boundaries in the province.
“I obviously struggled with the decision for quite a while, but at the end of the day it’s the community I have called home for the vast majority of my life,” Horne said.
Renaud said she is not surprised Horne decided to vie for the St. Albert nomination.
She said having a contested nomination has made her look at the things she has been able to accomplish so far this term.
“It causes you to look at the work you’ve done so far. We have done a lot of work here and I’m feeling quite good that the people we have worked for will know that,” Renaud said.
“I’m feeling pretty good about it."
Both MLAs were first nominated in 2015, with Renaud beating incumbent Stephen Khan from the PC Party and Horne earning his seat in the Spruce Grove-St. Albert riding formerly held by Doug Horner from the PC party.
Horne said he is proud of the work the government has done on post-secondary affordability and accessibility and he has been happy to see several schools open in St. Albert and Spruce Grove.
“We have got a total of about 100 affordable childcare spaces in both of my communities which is something that has been a huge help for a lot of families, and I have definitely heard that message on the doors,” Horne said.
Renaud said one thing she is proud of is the changes the government recently introduced for AISH.
“There has been lot of work on disability issues that I understood going in but really had to change,” Renaud said.
Renaud also said she is happy with the changes they have made to election financing and she is proud of the relationships she has formed with the city.
“We have a really great relationship with the city, we are able to work really well together and take care of things as they come up,” Renaud said.
Both contestants said Ray Gibbon is still top of mind and they both will continue to lobby the government for funding.
There is currently no incumbent running for the Morinville-St. Albert riding for the NDP or UCP. Dale Nally has been selected as the UCP candidate for the riding. To date, Shawna Gawreluck is the only person to announce she plans to seek the NDP nomination.
Horne had been weighing his options for his re-election bid since the boundaries were redrawn last year. The MLA’s current riding was divided by the Electoral Boundaries Commission. Part of his riding now sits in the larger St. Albert riding. The remainder was divided into several other ridings, with incumbents likely to run again.
The local NDP constituency association members will vote on Dec. 12 at a nomination meeting to determine which nominee will represent the riding in 2019.