UCP member says he won't run in 2019 because of recent heart surgery

A member of Alberta's United Conservative caucus says he isn't planning to run in the next provincial election, explaining that open-heart surgery in the past year has left him frequently exhausted.

Wes Taylor was elected as a member of Wildrose in 2015

Wes Taylor, who represents Battle River-Wainwright, says in a Facebook post that he will continue to serve his constituents until an election is called next year. (@WesTaylorUCP/Twitter)

A member of Alberta's United Conservative caucus says he isn't planning to run in the next provincial election, explaining that open-heart surgery in the past year has left him frequently exhausted.

Wes Taylor, who represents Battle River-Wainwright, says in a Facebook post that he will continue to serve his constituents until an election is called next year.

Taylor says in his post that if his health returns, he might consider running again if nominations haven't been completed.

UCP Leader Jason Kenney issued a news release late Monday thanking Taylor for his contributions to Alberta, as well as to the movement that merged the Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose parties into the UCP.

Taylor, who has been a realtor and a teacher, was elected as a member of Wildrose in 2015.

He notes that Battle River-Wainwright will cease to exist when the next election is called, and that it will be divided into the ridings of Vermilion-Wainwright, Camrose and Drumheller-Stettler.

'Hope is now on the horizon'

"While I certainly wish I could run again for the next election, it would be unfair of me to have this hinge on the hope that I will get better," Taylor wrote in his post.

"So, with a heavy heart, no pun intended, I plan on stepping aside from running in the next election as a result of these health concerns."

Taylor also said he takes comfort in the recent election of Kenney as party leader, and that "hope is now on the horizon" with the unification of the two conservative parties.

"I am proud to have served as your representative, and to have played an integral role in the reunification of our conservative family," Taylor wrote.