Sorenson thwarts challengers in East Central Alberta

Conservative incumbent Kevin Sorenson maintained a tight grip on the Battle River-Crowfoot riding and captured 81 per cent of votes in Monday’s federal election. Sorenson, who was first elected to the House of Commons in 2000, pulled in 47,650 votes. Liberal candidate Andy Kowalski came in a distant second with 5,485 votes or 9.3 per cent.

Conservative incumbent Kevin Sorenson maintained a tight grip on the Battle River-Crowfoot riding and captured 81 per cent of votes in Monday’s federal election.

Sorenson, who was first elected to the House of Commons in 2000, pulled in 47,650 votes. Liberal candidate Andy Kowalski came in a distant second with 5,485 votes or 9.3 per cent.

NDP candidate Katherine Swampy had 3,844 votes, or 6.5 per cent, and Green Party candidate Gary Kelly received 1,868 votes, or 3.2 per cent.

A total of 58,847 out of 80,689 voters in the riding cast ballots.

Sorenson said he was very pleased with the strong support he received, but very disappointed with his party’s loss.

“I just have 100 per cent confidence in Stephen Harper. It’s really disappointing,” said Sorenson, 56.

“We have a strong leader. We have a prime minister that we are proud of. We have an economist. He gets it. We’ll see how the next guy does,” he said referring to Justin Trudeau who led the Liberals to a majority win.

Sorenson said the campaign proved to be difficult for the Conservatives.

“The way the media was, it was hard to get our message out,” he said.

Kowalski said Sorenson is a good man. But Canadians just got tired of Harper.

“Mr. Harper really stepped on the press and wouldn’t answer any questions, wouldn’t let the people know, and it’s the people who are the ones in charge. They pay the taxes. Once every four or five years they get to speak and they spoke. I’m glad that it happened,” said Kowalski about the Liberal win.

Swampy said people wanted change and that’s exactly what they got.

“At least it’s not Harper,” said Swampy, who intends to run again.

She said the drop in NDP support had a lot to do with the strong campaign run by Trudeau and his team.

Sorenson was first elected in 2000 as the Canadian Alliance MP for the federal riding of Crowfoot. After the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives merged to become the Conservative Party, Sorenson was re-elected in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Battle River-Crowfoot was created out of part of the ridings of Crowfoot and Vegreville-Wainwright during the 2012 federal electoral boundaries redistribution.

Sorenson was named Minister of State for Finance in 2013.

“I know the importance of good, strong opposition and we’ll have a good, strong opposition,” said Sorenson who served in opposition during his first six years as an member of parliament.

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