Jason Nixon defeated MLA Joe Anglin in the Wildrose Party nomination contest to be the party's candidate for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre in the next provincial election.
“I'm very excited about the results,” Nixon told the Round Up. “I'm happy for my team. We worked really hard on the campaign and we were able to get the results that we wanted.”
Anglin was shocked to face a nomination battle against Nixon, who is his former riding association president.
Anglin lost an appeal to the party to have his opponent's candidacy declared invalid. He argued that Nixon was still the association president when he filed nomination papers in the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding although he did not officially resign the post until a week later.
The party ruled that Nixon's nomination challenge could go forward.
“Originally why I stepped forward to take on the position was 400 people within the constituency came forward with a nomination petition for me to run,” said Nixon.
“They were looking for an alternative. There was a lot of frustration about the current representation as far as focus on constituency issues, so I stepped forward because I intend to be more active within our community and more focused on our constituency.”
Anglin was unable to be reached for comment by press time on Monday, but he tweeted “Congratulations to Jason Nixon, the next WRP candidate for Rimbey Rocky Mountain House Sundre. #wrp #ableg” on July 5.
Wildrose leader Danielle Smith thanked Anglin for his efforts on behalf of the Wildrose Party in a release on July 5.
“Joe is a passionate fighter for the causes he believes in and has done some very good work for Albertans. I am sure he will continue to fight hard for his causes and find ways to continue to serve Albertans,” Smith reported.
“That said, Wildrose is committed to assembling the best possible Wildrose team for the next election, and I am confident that Jason Nixon will work hard and diligently for the voters of Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre and he will do a great job as their MLA after the next election.”
Nixon believes he is the right person for the job.
“I'm really excited to get to work and show them that we're the right party to govern and be able to secure the seat again for the Wildrose,” he said.
Voting took place at the Sundre Legion on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Anglin and Nixon were scheduled to present speeches at the legion, with a question and answer period to follow. But the speeches were cancelled last minute and there was a meet-and-greet format instead.
A resident who drove to Sundre from Rocky Mountain House to hear the speeches was not pleased with the change.
“This is supposed to be a democracy,” said the resident, who asked not to be named. “What are they hiding?”
- with files from Dan Singleton