SUNDRE - Newly re-elected Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon says he’s willing to do his part in supporting the new UCP government, whether he is given a cabinet seat or not.
Nixon defeated five challengers in the May 29 provincial election to win a third straight mandate.
He previously served as minister of Environment, minister of Finance, and house leader in the Jason Kenney government.
Asked if he is interested in returning to cabinet under Premier Danielle Smith, he said, “The premier picks cabinet. I’ve very confident in my ability and my teamwork approach and I think I will have a valuable role to play with the premier and I look forward to seeing what that will be.”
After winning the May 29 election and speaking at Original T’s restaurant in Sundre, Nixon addressed supporters and campaign staff.
“We made it through another campaign and nobody got hurt,” he said. “Believe it or not that is always my biggest worry when I start these. When you think about the sign crews and everybody (working on the campaign). I always feel good at the end that nobody got hurt.”
Nixon said he travelled more than 6,700 kilometres during the 30-day election campaign.
Unofficially Nixon garnered 15,518 votes or 69.6 per cent of total votes cast, while Independent candidate Tim Hoven garnered 3,384 votes, NDP candidate Vance Buchwald 3,074, Independent Fred Schwieger garnered 135, Alberta Advantage Party of Alberta candidate Carol Nordlund Kinsey 102, and Wildrose Loyalty Coalition candidate Tami Tatlock 96.
Second place finisher Hoven says although he was disappointed with the final tally, he believes his campaign sent a message to MLA Nixon.
“I hope the message is he has to do a better job listening to and representing his constituents,” Hoven told the Albertan.
“You are always disappointed when you lose but on the other hand we are happy considering we had only 28 days to go from zero to the number of people who supported us. We are very happy with that.”
Judging from comments he heard during the campaign, Hoven says he believes many area residents voted UCP because of concerns about the possibility of the NDP forming government, he said.
“One of the biggest struggles we had was all the UCP ads taking about a vote for anyone else is a vote for Rachel Notley (NDP leader),” he said.
“We really felt that in the last 10 days of our campaign. That was the number 1 question we got heading into the final run and it showed in the polls.
“We heard so many people say, ‘Tim I want to support you but I do not want Rachel Notley to be the premier.' So we lost a lot of votes that way.”
Hoven says his campaign spent about two-thirds of the maximum $53,400 allowed under Alberta election law.