Drumheller-Stettler is going to have a new member of the Legislature after the next provincial election.

Nathan Horner won the United Conservative Party nomination for the riding in a vote held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at polling stations around the riding.

"This whole campaign has been a bunch of firsts for me in kind of knocking down obstacles and learning as I go," he told Drum FM. "I expect that will be a lot of the same and I look forward to the challenge."

Horner beat incumbent MLA Rick Strankman by a margin of 969 votes to 740. A third candidate, Todd Pawsey, was disqualified by the party the day before the polls opened.

"Unification was always the goal, but (is) especially the goal now," stated Horner. "It gets a little tribal, but we know what brought us here to begin with and now we can mend the wounds and move forward."

While Horner is the UCP candidate for Drumheller-Stettler in the next election, Strankman is still the MLA until that time.

"Rick's got a couple of sessions left in (the) Leg and I'll work with him in any way that he can use me, and I hope to learn from him," expressed Horner. "It's all new to me, so I'm just going forward with that drive to try to get there in 2019 and learn from mentors like Rick."

A total of 1,709 UCP members cast ballots out of a total of about 2,800 who were eligible. That is a turnout of 61 per cent.

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