The United Conservative Party says a “high profile individual” wants to represent the UCP in Red Deer-South, which will delay the constituency’s nomination vote until early next year.
So far, four people have stepped forward to represent the UCP in the 2019 provincial election: Jason Stephan, Norman Wiebe, Adele Poratto and Bruce Buruma.
A letter from UCP executive director Janice Harrington to the UCP Red Deer-South Constituency Association and nomination contestants alerted them that the vote will be delayed.
“There are a number of highly qualified individuals who have stated their interest in the nomination and we know that the members of Red Deer-South will be well served by whomever is selected. However, due to the interest of a high profile individual to seek the nomination, as well as the Christmas holiday season that is rapidly approaching, the party has decided not to hold the nomination event until early next year,” Harrington said in the letter.
“This decision was made with the intention of providing as many qualified individuals the opportunity to seek the nomination in Red Deer-South as possible. Our intent has always been to hold a handful of nominations in 2019 to accommodate contestants who have professionally responsibilities that prevent them from seeking a nomination earlier in the cycle.”
So far, 75 of 87 UCP constituencies have held nomination votes.
Harrington said the date for the Red Deer-South vote will not conflict with the 2019 Canada Winter Games being held in Red Deer from Feb. 15 to March 3.
Buruma said up until the nomination is called, anyone can join the race.
“I’m a late starter in this race. Anyone can start,” Buruma said.
“At the end of the day, it’s a nomination race and it’s up to the people of Red Deer-South to select who is going to be their best candidate and hopefully eventually the best MLA. That’s my bottom line.”
But Buruma did want to make people aware of a fake Facebook account using his name to comment on the potential candidate.
“That’s not my voice. We’ve taken significant efforts to close the account. It’s regrettable and unfortunate.”
His official Facebook account can be found at @bruceburumardsouth.