Peering into the Crystal Ball

There are a few interesting races scheduled in the future, and while a couple of them are far off, the wheels are starting to turn.

The well-discussed upcoming leadership battle for Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives is buzzing, with speculation increasing as to the contenders.  Last week saw long-time former PC MLA and government minister Jim Dinning effectively put to rest rumours of his return to the political arena.

One of two names already tagged with ‘the only person who can save the party’ anchor, Dinning’s dousing of the speculation was delivered with a strong wake-up call for his former party. 

The other ‘saviour’, Jim Prentice, has yet to publicly state his intentions.  The Conservative ex-MP has a lot of cache in Alberta, but would he be able to oversee the massive inside-out refurbishing the PCs desperately need?

Dinning, Prentice…seems the only Jim who could save the Progressive Conservatives now is Kirk.

While it is commonly agreed that the next leader of the party must come from outside the current gang, my guess is Doug Horner will finish the race on top.  And that will pretty much do it for the PC’s long reign.

Locally, two battles are coming up which should hold high entertainment value. 

Speculation has begun on who will carry the Wildrose colours for Sherwood Park into the next provincial election.  Garnett Genuis, who ran for the Wildrose in the last vote, has declared his intention to seek the federal Conservative nomination in the new constituency of Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan (more on that later).

The latest rumour has former Strathcona County mayor Linda Osinchuk, once said to be interested in the federal Conservative nomination herself, contemplating a run for the Wildrose with the goal of facing current area PC MLA Cathy Olesen (see: ‘Politicians of Convenience).

The Conservative nomination race could be a full six months away, but that hasn’t stopped candidates from getting the game on.  As mentioned, Garnett Genuis has already held a presser to announce his nomination. 

Word is Genuis will face a list of challengers which include defeated Strathcona County councillor hopeful Nicole Van Kuppeveld and current MP Leon Benoit, whose constituency boundaries were changed. 

Who will become the first MP for Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan?

Smart money is on Randy Moore.  With a wealth of political and business experience – and lacking the baggage some other candidates might be weighed down with - Moore represents the best choice to represent the constituency, hands down.

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