NDP looks to Joe Ceci for breakthrough in Calgary

Joe Ceci, who sat on city council for 15 years, is running in Calgary-Fort, a riding that is wide open after MLA Wayne Cao, a Progressive Conservative, decided to retire from provincial politics.
Joe Ceci is the NDP candidate in Calgary-Fort. (CBC )

A former alderman is hoping to end the Alberta NDP's "Calgary Curse" this election. 

Joe Ceci, who sat on city council for 15 years, is running in Calgary-Fort, a riding that is wide open after MLA Wayne Cao, a Progressive Conservative, decided to retire from provincial politics.

Ceci says voters are telling them about their frustrations with the Progressive Conservative party.

"I'm seeing lots of people happy that potentially there might be a break (of) the 23-year jinx that has been on this city," he said.

A poll released this week from Mainstreet Technologies suggested support for the NDP is surging in Edmonton and up to 21 per cent in Calgary. 

Duane Bratt from Calgary's Mount Royal University believes that Ceci has a chance to win Calgary-Fort. He thinks the NDP could also take Calgary-Varsity, where Stephanie McLean is running against PC candidate Susan Billington.

He also likes the party's chances in Lethbridge, where NDP Leader Rachel Notley campaigned on Thursday.

Bratt says Notley's personal popularity is one factor. The collapse of the provincial Liberals is another.

"So where are those progressive voters going to go?" he asked.

"It's the NDP because they have a popular leader. The Liberals have an interim leader ... people have an understanding of what the NDP stand for and I think they're going to capitalize on that."

Andy Nguyen (PC), Jeevan Mangat (Wildrose) and Vic Goosen (Alberta Party) are also running in Calgary-Fort. 

Alberta voters go to the polls on May 5. 

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