Rob Anderson won't run in next election
Airdrie MLA recently defected from Wildrose Party to sit with Tories
Former Wildrose MLA-turned Tory Rob Anderson will not be running in the next provincial election.
Anderson used social media late Monday night to make the announcement, tweeting a link to his Facebook page where he posted a letter explaining his decision.
“It has been a long journey to get here — with some necessary and unexpected turns along the way — and I feel I have made an important contribution towards the current Alberta government's fiscally conservative platform and solid commitment to high ethics and integrity,” he wrote.
Anderson, who previously worked as a corporate lawyer, said he looks forward to his remaining time as an MLA before he returns to the private sector.
On Tuesday, Premier Jim Prentice responded in kind, posting a statement to his Facebook page saying Anderson told him at Christmas that he would not be seeking re-election.
"As a father, I understand Rob's decision and thank him for his commitment to public service," he wrote. "I look forward to continuing to work with Rob as we address a very challenging fiscal situation and build a better future for Albertans."
Anderson was among eight Wildrose legislators who followed their leader Danielle Smith across the floor to join Premier Jim Prentice’s Progressive Conservative government last month.
That prompted Allan Hunter to start a petition calling for Anderson's resignation.
"At the end of the day in this political system, you don't work for the premier you work for the people of Airdrie," he said Tuesday.
The Airdrie MLA said he stands by his decision to join the Tories, arguing that Prentice is the right leader for the province.
Anderson started out as a Tory MLA but crossed the floor to the Wildrose Party almost five years ago.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt says he thinks Anderson got out after he realized he wouldn't get a cabinet post.
"He's probably feeling it's best to get out now and he probably realized that any promises that Prentice had made about putting him in cabinet were not going to be honoured, so instead of being snubbed he is going to just say I'm not running again," he said.