A farmer and rancher from Pollockville has announced his plans to seek the United Conservative Party (UCP) nomination for the Drumheller-Stettler constituency.
Nate Horner, who holds an agricultural degree from the University of Lethbridge, and a diploma in agricultural business from Olds College, is looking to represent the UCP as their candidate for MLA in the 2019 provincial election.
“I got involved with the UCP leadership process and I got to know (Jason) Kenney, and I believe he’s the right man for the job,” said Horner. “I believe he needs some help to change out some personnel, and put forth a positive, moderate, conservative influence into this new party. It’s still being shaped, and I want to help shape it.”
Horner has held various positions at the community level, sitting on agriculture society boards, rodeo committees, and feeder associations. The 37-year-old has also run an oilfield servicing business, an oilfield ambulance service and a gravel and trucking business.
“I have a pretty diverse background in different areas of agriculture, and can offer a distinct perspective as a small business owner. I’ve also got two young children, a one-and-a-half year old and a four-and-a half year old, and that’s part of my motivation as well.”
“I think there is an appetite for some change, and I think there’s a feeling out there that they’re glad someone is trying to bring a modern influence to the new party locally. I think people are enthusiastic, and I think that a nomination race can do some great things for the constituency. Choice is always healthy.”
The next MLA for Drumheller-Stettler will have an even larger area of east-central Alberta to represent now that Provost has been added to the constituency. The riding boundaries were established in 2004, and were last updated in 2010. Prior to 2004, the area was represented between Drumheller-Chinook and Lacombe-Stettler.
“The riding is very large and I think there is a lot of similar interests. I’d like to see the role of MLA be one where you work on the relationships at home with the municipalities, and you try to get everyone pulling in the same direction. There’s enough political activists out there, and I don’t want to become one.”
Horner’s grandfather Jack Horner, served the federal riding of Acadia and later Crowfoot as an MP from 1958-1979, and his great-grandfather Ralph Horner was a senator who represented northern Saskatchewan for more than 30 years.
When asked about his family’s past involvment in politics, Horner said, “I don’t want people to think that’s why I’m doing this, but politics has always played a part in how we grew up. We were brought up to pay attention, and if you think you can do a better job then you’d better get doing it.”
The Drumheller-Stettler UCP Constituency Association will vote for their new board during their upcoming meeting on May 17. Party members are invited to attend from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the Hanna Community Centre.
Once the new board is nominated, the process and timeline for the candidate nominations will be decided.
Incumbent Rick Strankman is also seeking the nomination, having served the area as the Wildrose representative since 2012. This is the MLA’s first nomination under the UCP banner, as the party was formed in a merger with the PC’s in July 2017.