Conservative Party of Canada candidate Damien Kurek landed in the top spot for the Battle-River constituency Monday evening.
“First, it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t start by saying thank you,” he told supporters in Camrose. “It has been an incredible and humbling experience to be involved in this process. It speaks to the strength of the Conservative movement.
“I want to thank the people of this constituency for giving me this honour. It is a strong showing of support,” he said.
“I look forward to working hard for Battle River – Crowfoot,” he added. “So my first thank you is to the people.
“An election is ultimately about people,” said Kurek. “Every Canadian has the chance to cast that ballot, and to choose the next government. It’s been a humbling experience to walk through this process,” he said.
“Truly, it’s also only possible with an amazing team of people,” he added of his team, who numbered around 150.
“Thank you to each and every one of you,” he said.
“Across the country there were candidates from all different backgrounds,” he added. “It’s just been an amazing experience.
“In terms of local support, I started out with about 300 people who encouraged me to run for the nomination,” he said. “Continuing through the campaign, it’s been tremendous to see the number of people who have reached out.”
In his travels throughout the campaign, Kurek noted that it was always striking to hear people’s stories.
“Growing up in this area, I’ve driven most of these highways…so they were largely places that I had already been. But it’s the talking to people, and meeting amazing people.
“So often, these were people that I was already connected to. It’s also been a real honour to get to know people in this process,” he said.
“It comes back to those people and their stories – there are 110,000 people (in this riding) and about 83,000 who are eligible to vote.
“Every single one of those people have a story. As a member of parliament, although you may not get to know each and every one of those stories, you do get to have the opportunity to hear from any of them – that’s a real honour,” he said, adding that to be able to serve those people is incredible.
Kurek admitted that nationally, the results obviously weren’t what he had hoped for.
“But we kept Trudeau from getting a majority,” he said. “If there is one thing Justin Trudeau has demonstrated over the past four years, it’s that he doesn’t work well with others. So you can count on me as your local member of parliament, and a strong conservative team elected from coast to coast, to make sure we hold the Liberals to account, and to make sure we do everything we can to bring good governance back to this country.
“And to also ask the important questions – about pipelines for example. That’s not just an Alberta question, it’s a Canadian question.
“Those are the sorts of questions we need to make sure get asked,” he said.
“I can assure you I will do everything I can to work hard to represent the interests of this constituency and to lead as a servant – sharing your ideas and your priorities in our capital.”
Outgoing MP Kevin Sorenson was thrilled to see Kurek taking the reigns.
“He has a passion for Alberta, he has a passion for family, a passion for faith. And he has a real heart for politics. He’s what we called principles. He knows what he believes and why he believes it.’