It's a new political time in Alberta after the United Conservative Party chose former MP Jason Kenney to be its first leader.
Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman threw his support behind Kenney fairly early in the leadership campaign.
"I feel fulfilled," he told 99.5 Drum FM right after exiting his first UCP caucus meeting on Monday, October 30. "The management and stuff like that seems to be positive and the air is positive from all members, so we'll just see how it goes."
The United Conservatives were formed by an amalgamation of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta with the Wildrose Party this past spring. Three people were on the final ballot for the leadership convention. Kenney won with 61 per cent of the vote compared to 31.5 per cent for former Wildrose leader Brian Jean and 7.3 per cent for Calgary lawyer Doug Schweitzer.
"I remember Jason telling me about somewhere up in High Level or somewhere up north, there was a few oil patch workers over on the side taking it all in," recalled Strankman. "His comment to Jason was 'hopefully it all works for you, young fella: you've got to get her done."
"I still believe that the main stream values of Albertans is still what many feel to be the bedrock of the province," Strankman stated. "Even though we have more ethnicity and diversity and such like that, I still believe in the basic values of Albertans going forward."
The next step for Kenney is to get a seat in the Alberta Legislature. Calgary Lougheed MLA Dave Rodney has decided to retire from politics, which sets up a byelection. A date for that hasn't been set.
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