Stettler makes its mark as Tories go to Round 2

.

  • Sep. 21, 2011 6:00 p.m.

In this corner — Andrew Brysiuk of Stettler casts his ballot Saturday at Stettler Recreation Centre during the first round of voting for the PC leader and premier.

JOHN MACNEIL

Independent editor

Wanda Dennis had never been a card-carrying member of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, but she decided to join the ranks this year in time to vote in the party’s leadership race.

The Stettler woman’s reasoning for casting a vote in Saturday’s first ballot was straightforward.

“Because I want Alison to win,” a smiling Dennis said of candidate Alison Redford, who ranks second behind front-runner Gary Mar after the first round of voting.

“I heard Alison speak and I like her, so I want her to win.”

Mar, Redford and Doug Horner are the three remaining candidates in the bid to become party leader and the successor to outgoing Premier Ed Stelmach.

The other three challengers — Ted Morton, Rick Orman and Doug Griffiths — failed to gain enough votes Saturday and are no longer in the leadership race.

Even before the campaign began, Dennis listened to Redford speak about her Alberta vision.

“And then I heard her again and I really liked her, so I’ve now put my hat kind of in her (corner),” Dennis, 47, said after she voted Saturday at the Stettler Recreation Centre poll.

“I like how she’s laid out her platform. When I hear her talk about the various issues, she seems to have thought out how she’s going to achieve what she’s trying to achieve. She’s not just throwing out the lovely phrases that work good in a sound bite. She seems to have thought a little bit about how she’d actually implement them. I’m impressed with that.”

Dennis, who works in the oil and gas industry, wasn’t alone in her Stettler support for Redford. Her mother, Shirley Dennis, has been a Tory member for “a long time,” and she’s backing Redford for similar reasons.

“You betcha,” Shirley said. “We started reading about her in the Red Deer Advocate and we’ve seen her on TV, and I just like her.

“Hopefully, she does something so that a lot of our jobs don’t go down south. The oil, for example, get those refineries here and do our stuff here and not send it down south.”

By midday Saturday, Peter Simons and fellow Stettler poll workers had seen about half of the 160 voters who showed up at the Stettler Recreation Centre poll to cast a ballot between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Simons, a town councillor and a member of the Clearview school board, wanted to be a part of the selection of the next leader of the governing Conservatives.

“I think it’s important to participate in these leadership campaigns, because that’s where we get our voice in terms of who gets in for the party,” Simons said. “And ultimately then, of course, you’ll have to vote in an election.”

“To me, you’ve got to participate, or else nothing happens.”

Although he hasn’t been a member of other parties, Simons said he’s been a card-carrying Tory “off and on” over the years.

“I’ve gotten certainly more interested in the last few years, particularly as I’ve gotten involved in municipal politics, because there’s just so much interaction between provincial and municipal politics that it’s healthy to be involved in both.”

He declined to say how he voted Saturday, because he didn’t believe it was appropriate for poll workers to publicly endorse one candidate or another.

The second ballot is scheduled for Oct. 1, with the winner to be announced in Edmonton.

In the initial round, Mar gained 24,195 votes, or 41 per cent of the overall vote. The 49-year-old former cabinet minister from the Ralph Klein era had been pegged as the man to beat.

Redford, 46, was the justice minister under Stelmach but quit that job to run for the premiership.

She picked up 11,127 votes Saturday to garner 19 per cent of the 59,359 ballots cast.

Horner, a 50-year-old Edmonton-area MLA who was the deputy premier, sits in third place after collecting 8,635 votes (14.5 per cent).

Just Posted

Stettler Health Foundation has a lot to smile about

Stettler Tim Hortons donates $2,994 Smile Cookie proceeds to local health foundation

Stettler man found guilty of illegally trafficking wildlife

Hunting license suspended for three years

Our Town Stettler

Main Street in the early 1900s

Stettler hosting Third Annual Old Fashion Christmas Dinner

Freedom Christian Fellowship also having a free Christmas Dinner

High number of Clearview students graduate: Annual report

Clearview boasts 86.4 per cent Grade 12 completion

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Most Read