File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS UCP Leader Jason Kenney introduces his leadership team in Edmonton. Former federal Conservative cabinet minister Kenney won a seat in the Alberta legislature Thursday.

United Conservative Leader Kenney wins Calgary Lougheed byelection

CALGARY — Former federal Conservative cabinet minister Jason Kenney has won a seat in the Alberta legislature.

The leader of the United Conservative Party is the victor of a byelection in Calgary Lougheed, easily beating out six other candidates, including provincial Liberal Leader David Khan.

Kenney was the driving force behind the merger of Alberta’s two centre-right parties, the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose.

The win Thursday means he can go head to head with NDP Premier Rachel Notley in the legislature before the 2019 provincial election.

The byelection was called after Dave Rodney, a member of the United Conservatives, stepped aside to make room for a run by Kenney.

During the campaign Kenney said he received a positive reception going door to door.

Other candidates in the race included the NDP’s Phillip van der Merwe and new Green Party Leader Romy Tittel.

Rounding out the slate are Wayne Leslie of the Alberta Advantage Political Party Association, Lauren Thorsteinson from the Reform Party of Alberta and independent Larry Heather.

Khan, who was also looking for his first seat in the legislature, said he was the only real alternative to the United Conservatives and NDP.

Van der Merwe said he didn’t feel any extra pressure because the New Democrats are in government. He said he received plenty of support from motivated volunteers and legislature members who have helped him campaign.

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