Jason Nixon won’t be an official candidate for the Wildrose until the next provincial election but he said he plans to continue working hard for the party in the meantime.
Nixon, 34, unseated Joe Anglin, MLA for the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding, on Saturday evening in a nomination race by a count of 242 to 122.
Anglin, unavailable for comment on Monday, will continue to sit as the constituency’s MLA until the next election in 2016.
“I’m very proud of my team,” said Nixon, the former constituency president for the riding. “It’s humbling.”
He now plans to focus on growing the constituency’s association, especially in the Sundre area where he noticed numbers have sunk.
“My main goal after that is to meet with as many people as I can, regular people in our community and local government officials to get a good understanding of what the issues are,” Nixon said.
Nixon’s win followed on the heels of a controversial nomination battle. Anglin called for Nixon’s disqualification from the race, claiming he broke party rules by not stepping down as president ahead of announcing his nomination. The Wildrose ruled in Nixon’s favour, sparking harsh words from Anglin who accused his party of playing favourites.
“I don’t feel there was much (controversy),” said Nixon. “Our party looked into the allegations. It was looked into by two groups who all unanimously said nothing like that took place.”
While it’s rare for someone to take on an incumbent, Nixon said he credits his win to an organized and skilled campaign.
“We saw a lot of frustration with what is perceived by many as a lack of activity within our community or focus on our community. It’s a reflection of our party saying they want something different.”