Central Albertans will have plenty of choice in the upcoming federal election.
Six confirmed candidates will attempt to unseat incumbent the Conservative Party’s Blaine Calkins in Red Deer-Lacombe riding. In Red Deer-Mountain View, incumbent Earl Dreeshen, from the Conservative Party, will also face six challengers.
Running against Calkins in Red Deer-Lacombe are: Joan Barnes (no affiliation), Tanya Heyden-Kaye (NDP), Harry Joujan (Maverick Party), Megan Lim (People’s Party of Canada), David Ondieki (Liberal) and Matthew Watson (Libertarian Party).
In Red Deer-Mountain View, Dreeshen will face: Olumide Adewumi (Liberal), Marie Grabowski (NDP), Kelly Lorencz (People’s Party of Canada), Jared Pilon (Libertarian Party), Mark Wilcox (Maverick Party) and Clayten Willington (Independent).
Based on past results, challengers face a daunting task. Calkins won his riding in October 2019 with 79.8 per cent of the vote, up 9.1 per cent from his dominant showing in 2015. NDP candidate Lauren Pezzella finished a distant second with 8.9 per cent of the vote.
There was also little election night drama for Dreeshen, who won 80.3 per cent of the vote — a six-point improvement over 2015 — in Red Deer-Mountain View. NDP’s Logan Garbenewski came in second with 7.3 per cent of the vote.
Nominations closed on Aug. 30 and official candidate lists were posted on Wednesday morningon Elections Canada website. The federal election takes place on Sept. 20.
Green Party candidate Kerri Coombs had been announced for Red Deer-Lacombe but she tweeted on Tuesday that she fell just short of getting the 100 required signatures.