Alberta PC party appoints new president focused on right-wing unity

The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta has appointed a new president — one the organization believes will push unity with the Wildrose Party forward.

Len Thom will look to 'create a single, free-enterprise party' before next election

Len Thom, who ran for the federal Conservatives in Edmonton Strathcona in 2015, was appointed president of the PC Party Friday. (Len Thom/lenthom.ca)

The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta has appointed a new president — one the organization believes will push unity with the Wildrose Party forward.

Len Thom was appointed to the position at a board meeting Saturday. He most recently ran for the federal Conservatives in the 2015 election in Edmonton Strathcona, but lost to NDP MP Linda Duncan.

"I'm honoured to receive the support of the board and I look forward to working closely with our leader, Jason Kenney," Thom said in a news release.

Thom fills the spot left vacant by Katherine O'Neill, who stepped down last month, just three weeks after Kenney was elected PC leader.

Katherine O'Neill stepped down from the PC Party in April. (Laurent Pirot/Radio-Canada )

Thom said with Kenney, they are looking forward to executing "the will of our members to create a single, free-enterprise party before the next election."

"Party members voted overwhelmingly for unity, and I commend our board for its clear respect for the democratic will of members," Kenney said in the release.

But Kenney says just because both are focused on unity, that doesn't mean they won't explore other options if necessary.

"If we cannot reach a principled agreement with the Wildrose Party, or if the members of either party reject such an agreement, that I will do everything I can to build the PC party as the alternative to this disastrous NDP government."

The six-week deadline the group gave itself to reach a deal passed on Friday, but Kenney said a deal is close.

Kenney said the unite-the-right deal is close, but not quite there yet. (Chris Bolin/Wildrose Party)