Former local councillor clinches UCP nomination in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin

​A former Westaskiwin city councillor and school trustee has won the United Conservative Party nomination contest in the new Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin riding.

Richard Wilson will represent the party in the next election

Richard Wilson will represent the UCP party in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin in the next provincial election. (Supplied/Facebook)

​A former Westaskiwin city councillor and school trustee has won the United Conservative Party nomination contest in the new Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin riding.

Richard Wilson will represent the party in the next election, expected in the spring of 2019.

A small business owner and farmer, Wilson pulled ahead of two other candidates, including another former Wetaskiwin city councillor, Donna Andres, and a fellow local business owner, Sandra Kim.

It was Kim who put the nomination contest in the spotlight when her 2015 social media comments, expressing opposition to same-sex marriage, came to light earlier this year. Kim later issued an apology, saying she had shared the online posts "without fully thinking through how they could be perceived." She added that she accepts that same-sex marriage is law.

Wilson took 335 votes, Andres earned 267 votes, and Kim received 191 votes.

Wilson said he is "humbled" by the work his team put into the campaign and is ready to take on work in the large, new riding of Maskwacis-Westaskiwin.

"It's a big area, and it's an awesome constituency," Wilson said on Friday. "The whole area I've been working all of my life. So I know a lot of people right across the whole area. So I'm just really excited to get this new thing going for our new constituency. There's a lot of good people out here."
The new riding of Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin. (Supplied/Elections Alberta)

The Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin riding is a new electoral area created in 2017, following recommendations from the Electoral Boundaries Commission. It comprises most of the current Wetaskiwin-Camrose riding, with parts of Battle River-Wainwright, Leduc-Beaumont, and Drayton Valley-Devon.   

The current MLA for Wetaskiwin-Camrose is the NDP's Bruce Hinkley.