Man who helped guide Ralph Klein’s political career dead after brief illness

Rod Love, the man who worked for many years behind the scenes for former Calgary mayor and Alberta premier Ralph Klein, has died.

CALGARY — Rod Love, the man who worked for many years behind the scenes for former Calgary mayor and Alberta premier Ralph Klein, has died.

Friends of the family say Love died late Sunday evening, just weeks after he had written in a blog about being diagnosed with a tumour during a routine physical.

Love helped guide Klein’s campaign when he was elected mayor in 1980 and was Klein’s chief of staff through his career in civic politics and later as a cabinet minister and premier.

Love, who was married with three children, also ran unsuccessfully for the provincial Tories in Calgary and in 1998 started a consulting company specializing in strategic planning, communications and government relations.

Kelley Charlebois, executive director of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives, says on the party’s website that the Tories have lost an icon in Alberta politics.

Calgary MP and federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney says in a Twitter message that Love is a legend in Alberta politics, was tough but big-hearted, and loved Canada.

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