Calgary

Calgary-Elbow gears up for battle over Alison Redford's former seat

While Alberta's political focus this weekend has been on the result of the PC leadership race, another campaign is just starting to gear up.

Former premier Alison Redford resigned last month amid a spending scandal

Alison Redford resigned her seat as MLA for Calgary-Elbow last month amid a spending scandal that also saw her ousted from the premier's office. The riding is now up for grabs. (CBC )

While Alberta's political focus this weekend has been on the result of the PC leadership race, another campaign is just starting to gear up.

Candidates are getting ready to battle for the Calgary-Elbow riding, which was left vacant when former premier Alison Redford resigned amid a spending scandal last month. Now, contenders are launching their bids for the seat and political watchers say the riding could be up for grabs.

"Do people separate the [PC] Party from [Redford]?" said Duane Bratt, a political scientist with Calgary's Mount Royal University. "You've got the issue of the flood, you've got the legacy of that by-election defeat [and] on the other hand, the Tory riding association is flush with money, around $200,000. It's a well-off riding but you also have the flood so I think it could potentially be in play."

The leader of the Alberta Party, Greg Clark, launched his bid to take hold of the riding this weekend.

At this point, he is the only official candidate running in the riding.

Calgary-Elbow has been held almost exclusively by the PC Party but residents say they aren't sure that will be enough to keep the party in power.

"It's important to me to look for change that's going to move us forward," said Kathy Bowden.

Alberta's premier-designate, Jim Prentice, said during his race for the PC leadership that he would not run in the riding but then dodged questions from reporters after his win on Saturday about whether he would seek the seat.

It's not clear when a by-election will be called in the riding but Clark says he thinks it could be called as soon as Monday.

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