Buck Buchanan’s allegations of wrongdoing in the Red Deer North PC nomination are simply sour grapes, say Progressive Conservative Party officials.
Buchanan lost the Red Deer North Conservative nomination to Christine Moore on March 21.
Less than three weeks later, Buchanan jumped ship to become the Wildrose candidate in the same provincial riding.
At the same time, he alleged there were irregularities with the nomination process.
He has not elaborated on those wrongdoings.
PC Party executive director Kelley Charlebois said Buchanan signed a form indicating he was satisfied with the “fair and democratic” nomination for Red Deer North on March 21.
“I think Buck’s problem is he didn’t like losing,” said Charlebois. “The biggest indicator was that he signed off on a form that we require candidates to sign that the process was all good. He raised no issues with us that night and no issues until he took a nomination from the Wildrose Party.”
Candidates sign the form at the end of the nomination night, after the votes are tallied but before the results are announced.
Charlebois said they are asked to confirm they are comfortable with the process and how it went. A scrutineer also signs the form.
Charlebois said there have been a few processes that did not go perfectly but nothing like this where someone lost and out of “sour grapes” decided to join another party.
“We are a party made up of tens of thousands of volunteers,” he said. “People put a lot of heart and soul into our success. I am sure party supporters in Red Deer and voters in Red Deer are going to be scratching their heads about this one and wondering how this one can make any sense and frankly how he can hold his head up having done this.”
Earlier in the week during an appearance in Lacombe, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said there were irregularities in the process.
Jean told 106.7 the Drive: “Clearly, we’ve seen across the province this dictatorship come into the nomination process and flagrantly disregard democracy, the rule of law and the opportunity for people to be able to get community members to support them and represent them. Buck Buchanan saw this.”
In a media scrum in Red Deer on Wednesday, Premier Jim Prentice also addressed the allegations.
“There has been no suggestion by anyone at any time in any place that there was anything wrong with that Red Deer nomination,” said Prentice.
“It was won fairly and squarely by the candidate that represents our party, so there’s no issue there.”
Buchanan did not respond to Advocate requests for an interview on Thursday. Instead, he said in a text message that “we would be putting out a statement in the near future.”