'I'm the NDP's worst nightmare': Former MP Rob Clarke enters race to lead Sask. Party

Former MP Rob Clarke is throwing his hat in the race for the next leader of the Saskatchewan Party.

Clarke promises to be on-call to Sask. residents daily if elected

Former Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke has entered the race to become the next leader of the Saskatchewan Party. (CBC News)

Rob Clarke has entered the race to become the next leader of the Saskatchewan Party.

"Let's not be naive here. The NDP stole power in B.C. The NDP won power in Alberta. And the NDP will win more seats in Saskatchewan unless we hit the reset button on the party and the government," he said during his official announcement in Saskatoon on Wednesday morning.

The former Conservative MP from the Desnethé — Missinippi — Churchill River constituency and member of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation said he was the only candidate who could really renew the party and the government.

The announcement was carried live on a Facebook page called Rob Clarke for Saskatchewan Party Leader with a banner asking, "Are you ready for a fresh start?"

He joins five other candidates campaigning to become party leader, and therefore the next premier. Scott Moe, Gord Wyant, Ken Cheveldayoff, Tina Beaudry-Mellor and Alanna Koch are already in the race.

Clarke took aim at all of them, saying they represent the status quo.

"All the candidates in the race are talking about renewal, but they only represent more of the same," he said. "Put bluntly, I'm the NDP's worst nightmare."

During his announcement, Clarke addressed the Global Transportation Hub scandal, and said that people in public office should be "above reproach."

He also highlighted his work as an RCMP officer for 18 years, prior to his stint as a Conservative MP. He recommended more law enforcement "boots on the ground," rather than increased traffic patrols in the province.

"I think what we need to do is look at a task force to address the gang problems we're seeing in Saskatchewan," he said.

Clarke is joining the leadership race late, and won't be eligible to participate in the upcoming debate in North Battleford on Thursday because his nomination papers haven't been filed with the party.

Nomination papers must be filed a week in advance of a leadership debate. Another debate is planned in Weyburn on Nov. 30.

The final deadline to file leadership nomination forms is Nov. 24. Candidates must also pay the $25,000 fee and collect 250 signatures from 25 different constituencies in the province.

"I've put in the work already," Clarke said at his announcement.

"It's about selling memberships and it basically comes down to 'GOTV' — get out the vote."

Clarke told reporters Wednesday that if he's elected, he will carry a cellphone and give out the number publicly, making himself available to the people of Saskatchewan from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST daily. 

The party will elect a new leader on Jan. 27, 2018.