Damien Kurek has thrown his hat into the Conservative Party of Canada’s nomination race to represent the Battle River-Crowfoot constituency.
Kurek was raised on a farm near Consort and has long had a strong interest in politics.
“At 15, I had the opportunity to travel to Ottawa on a youth exchange, and I was the type of kid for who just going to Ottawa wasn’t good enough,” he recalled with a laugh. He put a call into then Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office requesting a meeting with him.
Staff called back and it was arranged, along with local MP Kevin Sorenson, for Kurek to have a 10-minute talk with Harper.
That visit only solidified what was already, as mentioned, a fascination with politics. “For a kid who loved politics, that was the pinnacle of everything you could possibly imagine.”
Ever since, Kurek has been involved with everything from campaigns to working for former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Hall and Sorenson as well.
“Basically wherever I’ve been, I’ve been engaged with the local Conservative politicians – provincially and federally,” he said.
“I wanted to do everything I could to make sure the big questions in our society (were answered), from ensuring the principles of good governance to fiscal accountability,” he explained, adding that he felt early on that Conservative policy was the best means of achieving these goals.
“I felt these would lead to a better country, and I wanted to be involved in that process,” he said.
In 2012, he finished his post secondary political studies at Trinity Western University.
He also spent his final semester in Ottawa where he had the opportunity to work in Sorenson’s office, he said.
“Again, it was a tremendous opportunity. I was able to use that work term as kind of the wrap-up to my formal education,” he said. “It was an incredible time. And it just continued – that passion and that desire to serve people, to help people and to get involved with my country.”
From there, Kurek and his wife relocated back home to Alberta.
“At that point in time, I had friends say I’d be a great addition to the team working at the Legislature in Saskatchewan under Premier Brad Wall,” he recalled.
He was eventually hired on in 2015.
“My wife and I moved to Regina where I worked for about two and one-half years for the Wall government there in a couple of roles. It was a wonderful opportunity to see practical, common sense governance and good public policy and good, conservative common sense principles for the people of that province,” he said.
After Wall retired, Kurek was offered a job in Sorenson’s constituency office.
“Again, it was a tremendous opportunity to see a solid public servant working hard to serve his constituents, and what that looks like in all facets of the job,” he said.
With Sorenson announcing earlier this year that he won’t be running in this fall’s election, Kurek said the time felt right to enter the nomination race.
Kurek is also a firm believer in Andrew Scheer’s abilities as a leader, describing him also as a true team player who welcomes input from those around him as he puts forward his vision for the country.
These days, having launched his campaign just over four weeks ago, Kurek is hard at work connecting with communities throughout the riding. He said it’s likely the nomination race will wrap up in early July.
“It became a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to be able to say look, I’ve been passionate about politics for a long time. Now, I have the opportunity to make sure that the values, the region and the people who are dear to me can be well represented in Ottawa,” he said.