Alberta Votes 2015: 10 candidates to watch
Albertans are heading to the polls in May. Here are some candidates to keep your eyes on.
Sarah Hoffman, NDP - Edmonton-Glenora
A former trustee and chairwoman of the Edmonton Public School Board, Sarah Hoffman has the highest profile of all the new candidates running for the NDP in Edmonton. Edmonton-Glenora has a history of swinging between the Tories and the Liberals. With the Liberals in a freefall, progressive voters might take a look at Hoffman this time.
Joe Ceci, NDP - Calgary-Fort
Joe Ceci may be the NDP's best hope for a breakthrough in Calgary. Ceci was the alderman for the area from 1995 to 2010 and was approached to run in Calgary-Fort by NDP leader Rachel Notley. The constituency is wide open after long-time MLA, PC Wayne Cao, announced he wasn't running again.
Greg Clark, Alberta Party - Calgary-Elbow
Clark came within 803 votes of winning Calgary-Elbow in the October by-election. Could he take down Education Minister Gordon Dirks in a rematch this spring?
Rick Hanson, Progressive Conservatives - Calgary-Cross
Premier Jim Prentice named Hanson the PC candidate the day after the former chief retired from the Calgary Police Service. Hanson will likely head to cabinet if the PCs win their 13th consecutive election.
Terry Rock, Progressive Conservative - Calgary-Buffalo
The former president and CEO of the Calgary Arts Development Authority was acclaimed in Calgary-Buffalo, which has been held by Liberal Kent Hehr since 2008. With Hehr running for the federal Liberals, the well-known Rock could be a contender.
Carrie Fischer, Progressive Conservative - Highwood
The Okotoks town councillor knocked off former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith to take the PC nomination but can she win Highwood?
Tony Caterina, Progressive Conservative - Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview
Tony Caterina has represented Ward 7 on Edmonton city council since 2007. Prentice named him the PC candidate for Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview on April 2, even though Harmon Kandola had already won the nomination. Caterina's appointment suggests the Tories are eager to defeat incumbent NDP MLA Deron Bilous.
Brian Jean, Wildrose - Fort McMurray-Conklin
The former federal Conservative MP turned newly-elected Wildrose leader needs a seat in the legislature. Jean is running in Fort McMurray-Conklin which is a surprise because he may have a better chance in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, where Mike Allen is the PC candidate. Allen pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after he was caught in a prostitution sting in 2013. While he won PC the nomination, voters may not be so forgiving.
Jeff Callaway, Wildrose - Calgary-North West
Jeff Callaway was the president of the Wildrose Party during its darkest days last December when former leader Danielle Smith joined the PCs and brought 8 other MLAs. He is now running against PC MLA Sandra Jansen, whose reputation took a hit after she introduced the original version of Bill 10 on gay-straight alliances. The bill proved to be so divisive that Prentice had to pull it several days later.
Laurie Blakeman, Liberal, Green Party, Alberta Party - Edmonton Centre
Blakeman scored a rare opposition win by forcing the Tories to revise Bill 10 and allow gay-straight alliances in any school where students want them. Blakeman is the longest serving opposition MLA but with the Liberals dropping in support, could she be vulnerable to an NDP surge in Edmonton? Her decision to run for the Green and Alberta Parties, in addition to the Liberals, was viewed by some as a confusing choice.