Party members will decide who will represent the PCs in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre in the next provincial election.
Three people, so far, have declared they will seek the Progressive Conservative nomination: current independent MLA Joe Anglin, Tammy Cote and Terry Engen.
For Cote, provincial politics is in her blood, literally.
Helen Hunley — the first woman to serve as lieutenant-governor of Alberta — is her great aunt. Hunley, once mayor of Rocky, went on to be a PC MLA in the 1970s and held several cabinet positions. She died in 2010.
“At the end of her life we were very good friends. She was very encouraging,” said Cote, who grew up in Rocky Mountain House.
Cote, 52, decided she wanted to seek the PC nomination a few years ago. She spent time on former local MLA Ty Lund’s campaign in the last election.
“I feel like Alberta is at a really critical stage in its economy. Not in the short term. I’m not referring to what we’re into now, but in the long term. And I think that the decisions we make in the next short term have the potential to really positively or negatively impact our long-term success,” Cote said.
“I want to make a contribution to that.”
Cote is branch manager for ATB Financial in Rocky, and has worked for the financial institution for 30 years.
Cote has served as the local chamber of commerce president, sat on the economic development board, and been involved in a number of volunteer organizations.
Engen, 53, said he decided about six months ago to seek the PC nomination, and with the new leader and premier, Jim Prentice, it solidified his decision to go ahead.
“I’m quite pleased that Premier Prentice is in place right now. It would have been a much more difficult decision if things hadn’t changed,” Engen said.
“I think at the end of the day it’s become very clear out in this constituency we need someone to represent us again that has some common sense and has the ability to represent all.
“That was one of the keys that led me into this. Sitting back watching the last term and I don’t think we were very successful in the constituency.
“It’s democracy in action. So we await to see,” he said.
Engen lives in the Eckville area and is a fifth-generation farmer. He served as a county councillor from 2001 to 2010, the last six years as reeve. Now he is a part-time commissioner for the Alberta Energy Regulator, formerly the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board.
Anglin said earlier he will seek the PC nomination. He left the Wildrose caucus in November after a falling out with the party and chose to be an independent MLA.
The nominations for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre are open until noon Friday. The vote is Feb. 21.