New leader of the Alberta Party Stephen Mandel, is followed by Kara Levis, and Rick Fraser as they make their way in for the leadership announcement, in Edmonton on Tuesday. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Former Alberta Party candidates from Red Deer, Central Alberta react to new party leader

There’s mixed reaction from Alberta Party supporters to the new leader in Central Alberta.

Stephen Mandel was elected leader of the Alberta Party Tuesday, receiving 66 per cent of the vote.

The leadership contest came after Greg Clark stepped down as party leader in November 2017. At the start of the race, the Alberta Party had 1,024 members and now has more than 6,500.

Serge Gingras, who ran twice as the Alberta Party candidate in Red Deer-South, said he believed the party may take a step to the right wing with the election of Mandel.

“It’s going to be interesting what the next steps are,” said Gingras. “I believe there will be a shift to the right given his history.”

Mandel served as health minister under Jim Prentice from the fall of 2014 until the spring 2015 election, where he lost his seat.

Before then he served three terms as mayor of Edmonton.

“I hope there’s still a strong enough grassroots movement that wants to maintain the centrist position of the party,” said Gingras. “It was created by people who saw the direction the former Progressive Conservative party was taking a shift to the right and they wanted a more centrist position.”

Danielle Klooster, who ran as the Alberta Party candidate in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake in 2012 and 2015, said the party needs an experienced, seasoned leader to build the party’s machine. She said was a PC before joining the Alberta Party.

“As an early adopter of the Alberta Party, I’m thrilled to see so many Albertans catching the vision,” she wrote in an email. “The people of Alberta no longer have to choose between one polarity or the other; the voice of reason is being heard and appreciated.”

She said the party has always welcomed people from across the political spectrum, including former New Democrats, Greens, Liberals, PCs and Wildrose party members.

“Mandel’s former party affiliation doesn’t concern me any more than my own,” she said. “We all left those former parties for a reason.”

They currently have three seats in the Alberta legislature including Clark, Karen McPherson and Rick Fraser. McPherson ran as an NDP, but cross the floor to join the Alberta Party in October 2017. Fraser won election as a PC, but joined the Alberta Party in late 2017.



mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

A celebration ceremony was held at City Hall Park Thursday afternoon

Sylvan Lake presents waterfront concept

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan will provide 20-year vision

Red Deer-raised artist wins the chance to exhibit at San Diego Comic Con

Micaela Dawn said courage can’t exist without fear

BioBlitz set for Lacombe Lake

Well-known Alberta naturalist to take stock of Lacombe Lake’s flora, fauna and fungi

Red Deer elementary school students play Indigenous games

Annie L. Gaetz Schools holds first-ever First Nations, Métis and Inuit Field Day Thursday

Deadline for property tax payments coming for Red Deer residents

For property owners in Red Deer, the taxman cometh. The deadline for… Continue reading

Town of Ponoka, AUPE set to resume negotiations in July

Town council rejected agreement reached between administration and union

New evidence that viruses may play a role in Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON — Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a… Continue reading

Amber Tamblyn novel flips gender stereotypes as it examines rape culture

TORONTO — Actress and author Amber Tamblyn started writing “Any Man,” her… Continue reading

Mike Colter brings the pain as the indestructible Luke Cage

ATLANTA — “Black Panther” broke box office records, but “Luke Cage” once… Continue reading

Toronto police strike blow to gang with ties to the U.S. and Caribbean: chief

Toronto police say they’ve taken down a large portion of a street… Continue reading

Canada focusing on existing climate plan, has no timeline to increase ambition

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada has no immediate plans… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month