Alberta Votes

Jamie Lall to run as independent in Chestermere-Rocky View

It's been two weeks since Jamie Lall received a late-night text message telling him he had been disallowed from seeking the Tory nomination in Chestermere-Rocky View, on Thursday, Lall he would still run in the election, as an independent conservative.

Jamie Lall was dismissed from the Tory nomination race by text message, Bruce McAllister acclaimed

Jamie Lall says he was a card-carrying member of the PC Party for "a lot of years" but he's excited about his run as an independent Conservative. (CBC)

It's been two weeks since Jamie Lall received a late-night text message telling him he'd been kicked out of the race for the Tory nomination in Chestermere-Rocky View.

But the Calgary businessman still plans to be on the ballot, even if it is without the help of the party he's been a member of for years.

Lall says the details are still vague and he still doesn't necessarily know why he was disqualified.

"People have been so supportive, I know that it was such a rough situation but the fact that I had so many people defend me, it really helped heal the wound pretty quick," he said.

In the week after the disqualification, when asked about Lall being removed from the race, Jim Prentice said Lall was one of hundreds of people the party checked out before candidates were chosen.

"Mr. Lall was one of the people who was vetted, he was vetted for good reasons," Prentice said.

Lall says he's not looking backwards and that his future is to run as an independent conservative in the provincial election.

"I know that I don't have a party banner behind me, but truthfully I don't think I really need that," he said.

Chestermere is home

Lall, who grew up in Chestermere, says he has a team in place, the signage and the marketing material ready to go.

"I think there is a general sense of, I don't know if it's distaste, but I think people are a bit fed up with some of the party politics in the area," Lall said.

Lall, 30, the CEO of the Calgary Housing and Employment Services and a longtime card-carrying member of the PC Party, said from what he was told, he went through a standard vetting process with private investigator Gordon Bull and disclosed everything that was asked of him.

His disqualification paved the way for Bruce McAllister, one of nine Wildrose MLAs who crossed the floor to the PCs in December, to be acclaimed as the Tory candidate.

Lall said he still has a many friends "within the rank-and file-within the party" and hopes to have an open and frank conversation with some people "on that side" about what happened.

"The bridge isn't burned completely, maybe it's just a cool off period, if you want to call it that," he said.

The Chestermere-Rockyview was a PC riding before voters elected McAllister as a Wildrose candidate in the 2012 election.

Voters in the riding will have to choose between McAllister, Lall and Wildrose candidate Leela Aheer.

Lall says he isn't running as some sort of novelty campaign, but because he senses a real appetite here from his base in the area who are "sick and tired of the musical chairs."

Even though he has had offers to join other parties, Lall says he feels that running as an independent is a good choice.

"I know no independent has ever won in the past but it would be fun to make history, wouldn't it?" he said.


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