A perennial political candidate and a first timer mark a growing competitive field in Red Deer’s two United Conservative Party nomination races.
In Red Deer-North, Cole Kander has the distinction of being the only registered candidate and in Red Deer-South, Matt Chapin joins Adele Poratto in the race.
Kander, a born and raised Red Deerian, entered politics because he believes he can do the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people through politics. After finding a sales career unfulfilling he returned to university and earned a degree in political science.
He worked on several elections, including the 2015 Alberta election. He has also worked for the Wildrose Party and the UCP doing policy research and stakeholder outreach.
“Through working in politics I realized, as an elected official, you’re not only just a policy maker and someone who operates government, but you’re also a community leader,” said Kander, 30. “Through that role you can have a very big impact on the world around you. It’s through that role I want to help out Red Deer and make it better.”
Kander is a small government conservative, believing in lower taxes and less regulations “to help make the economy better.”
“It’s also because of the grassroots,” said Kander, on why he’s with the UCP. “One thing I’m really stoked that (leader) Jason Kenney ran on was making good on his promises that the members are in control.”
In an effort to reach potential constituents, Kander has a goal of having 500 coffee one-on-ones with people of Red Deer-North. So far he’s had 150 of them.
Chapin has run for political office several times in Red Deer. Most recently he ran in the 2017 municipal election as both a city councillor and a public school trustee candidate. He garnered 979 votes as a council candidate and 1,560 as a trustee candidate.
He ran for mayor in 2007, in 2010 he ran for city council and school board trustee and in 2013 he ran for city council.
This isn’t Chapin’s first foray into provincial politics as he sought the nomination for the Progressive Conservative party nomination for Red Deer North in 2015, losing to Christine Moore.