Veteran Tory MLA Ty Lund will stand in the next provincial election for the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre constituency.
Lund won a landslide victory over challenger Jimmy Clark in the riding’s nomination on Saturday night.
Of the 1,048 ballots cast, Lund received 832 while Clark took 214 votes. There were two spoiled ballots.
Clark, 56, a retired high school principal, decided to throw his hat in the hat because he felt there was a need for change. Lund is one of the longest serving MLAs in the province. Lund, 73, was first elected in 1989 and has been on the nomination ballot seven times.
There were allegations of a “smear campaign” during the contest stemming from the time when Clark was a principal at West Central High School in Rocky Mountain House. Clark retired last May following questions about spending at the school.
Brian Celli, the superintendent of the Chinook’s Edge School Division, said there were no accusations and no evidence was ever found of any wrongdoing.
“It’s kinda like going to a gunfight with a baseball bat,” said Clark, about the outcome.
“That was very convincing win by the incumbent. His team did a great job. I’m convinced we are going to return him back to the legislature. He’s going to be going back to with a wealth of knowledge.”
Clark said the rumours about his previous job did play a part in his defeat “without question” but not to the extend that he should have won. Clark said he will be putting an X beside Lund’s name at the spring ballot. The provincial election is expected to be called following the Feb. 9 provincial budget.