Parkland Mall was one of the places people could vote in Red Deer on Election Day. (Photo by Advocate staff)

Parkland Mall was one of the places people could vote in Red Deer on Election Day. (Photo by Advocate staff)

Defeated Red Deer-Mountain View candidates reflect on 2021 Federal Election

Marie Grabowski has been down this road before.

She’s helped organize campaigns at all levels of government and has seen the herculean effort it takes to force an incumbent from their seat.

Grabowski, the NDP candidate for Red Deer-Mountain View finished a distant second (at 13.9 per cent of the votes at 10:30 p.m. Monday) behind long-time conservative representative Earl Dreeshen, who retained his seat.

“Trying to flip an incumbent is a precarious endeavour. It’s definitely a long-term goal for this riding, to be a bit more progressive in that respect when it comes to federal politics especially,” she said.

Kelly Lorencz did what he could to represent the People’s Party of Canada and believes he was able to show voters that there are other options out there – one that could more strongly represent the views of Albertans. Lorencz had about 12.2 per cent of the votes as of 10:30 p.m. Monday.

“We worked hard in this election. I’m proud of the team that we put together and proud of the results we’re getting. Are we completely happy with the result? No, obviously we would have liked to win,” he said.

“We’re polling higher than previously. I support the people of Alberta and I support the people of this riding. We’re not done fighting.”

At about 6.5 per cent of the votes, Liberal candidate Olumide Adewumi said it’s now up to the rest of the candidates to help support Dreeshen in representing the constituency in the best way possible.

“For me, we should focus on what unites us and what unites all the candidates is the fact that we want the best for our riding. We want to continue to move Canada forward progressively,” he said.

Mark Wilcox and the Maverick Party picked up about three per cent of the vote in the riding. He said a pandemic election, resulting in almost the exact same federal alignment, wasn’t really what the constituency was hoping for in his view.

“A pandemic election is definitely an influencing factor in how things play out. I believe the appetite and sentiment for what the Maverick Party was selling is definitely there,” he said.

“With COVID, I think people are taking the safe bet. The financial uncertainty that’s around right now doesn’t encourage people to make a positive, decisive change… I think Western Canadians especially are going to be pretty disappointed with $600 million spent and (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau gets exactly what we started with.”

Independent candidate Clayten Willington said he is disappointed in Justin Trudeau’s re-election as Prime Minister, but he isn’t disappointed with his own performance in the election.

“This was my first try at this and I felt I had to do this because I wanted to effect change,” said Willington.

“I didn’t think the Conservatives would provide enough change, versus the Liberals. As a Canadian, I felt I had an obligation to do this.”

Willington said he plans on running again when the next federal election comes.

Jared Pilon, the Libertarian candidate could not immediately be reached for comment.