Wildrose Alliance memberships soaring

The Wildrose Alliance Party says its paid membership has ballooned to 11,670 members as it heads into its leadership convention later this month.

CALGARY — The Wildrose Alliance Party says its paid membership has ballooned to 11,670 members as it heads into its leadership convention later this month.

Jane Morgan, party executive director, said in a news release Sunday that she was “incredibly pleased” at all the new members.

She said the party had 1,800 memberships at its annual general meeting in June, and a year ago it had about 1,000.

All Wildrose Alliance members in good standing by Oct. 2, are eligible to vote in the leadership election, either at the convention itself or by mail-in ballots which are now being received by members all across Alberta.

The convention is on Oct. 17 in Edmonton and the race is between Mark Dyrholm and Danielle Smith.

Last month, former Wildrose Alliance leader Paul Hinman won a byelection in Calgary-Glenmore for the party’s first seat in the legislature.

The riding had been held for 40 years by the Progressive Conservatives, and the Tory candidate came in third.

“If we can accomplish this amount of growth in just four months, imagine what we can do with 83 active constituencies and a full time leader touring the province,” Morgan said.

Hinman said those joining the party want “to send Ed Stelmach a message that it’s past time to rebuild the Alberta Advantage.”

Stelmach could not be reached for comment.