Lacombe mayor replaces Prins for Tories
Last minute candidate rushes to prepare for imminent election call
The mayor of Lacombe will run for Alison Redford's Progressive Conservatives in place of outgoing Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ray Prins.
Prins announced this week he is quitting provincial politics after being caught up in the "do-nothing" committee scandal.
As head of the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing, Prins was paid $1,500 a month even though the committee hadn't met in more than three years.
Steve Christie has been Mayor of Lacombe for two years and was a councillor before that. Christie said he made the decision to run Wednesday after getting a call from the Conservative party Tuesday afternoon.
He's now scrambling to get ready for an election call just a few days away.
"It is getting signs done; it's getting the pamphlets done; it's getting the paraphernalia and getting that all in place in time for the election," he said.
Ray Prins has not commented on his decision to retire from politics but his wife, Pauline Prins, defended him in a letter to the Lacombe Globe on Thursday.
"Please let me assure you that Ray was never 'getting paid for doing nothing,'" she wrote. "In fact he was never 'doing nothing.' He was always working, studying, meeting and advocating on your behalf."
Prins, first elected in 2004, submitted a letter to Premier Alison Redford on Tuesday saying the controversy surrounding the committee has "the media, opposition parties and public questioning my integrity as a person and an MLA."