UPDATED Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin winner Wilson says Alberta wanted change

UPDATED Both Rick Wilson and Mark Smith had no trouble Apr. 16 with opposing parties

The region including the City of Wetaskiwin, County of Wetaskiwin, Pigeon Lake and Millet strongly supported the United Conservative Party in the 2019 provincial election, as Rick Wilson and Mark Smith both dominated their opposition.

Rick Wilson

Contacted by phone Apr. 17, Wilson couldn’t say enough good things about his campaign team and volunteers. “They’re very dedicated,” said Wilson, noting his volunteers were working seven days a week, 16 hours a day in some cases. “How inspiring is that?” he said.

The MLA-elect also had good things to say about all his competitors, including NDP incumbent Bruce Hinkley. “I’ve known Bruce for a long time,” said Wilson. “He’s a true gentleman.”

Wilson said he respected all of his competitors and heard great ideas from all of them. He said he heard public feedback that local voters were happy that in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin candidates stuck to the issues in the campaign. “I think that’s why we got along,” said Wilson. “We were all there for the right reasons.”

The MLA-elect said he’s excited to get sworn in and get to work, and several issues are already on his mind. Wilson said when he was on the health region board, addictions and mental health concerned him, and he looks to focus on those.

As well, Wilson said agriculture needs to be a prominent issue in the UCP government. “This is an agricultural community,” said Wilson, noting the agriculture industry has a lot of promise and room for diversification.

Lastly, he said the large, decisive margin of victory over his opponents tells him something about the Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin voters. “Alberta wanted a change,” he said. “People were hurting.” On the campaign trail Wilson said he spoke to people who told him if the quality of life didn’t improve in Alberta, they’d be leaving.

He said voter confidence in him is exciting. “In the end, that’s who you do it for,” he added.

An interview with Drayton-Devon winning candidate Mark Smith will be posted soon.

CENTRAL ALBERTA PROV ELECTION
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Unofficial results

The vote totals for both Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin and Drayton-Devon show, overall, the UCP candidates had no trouble defeating opposing candidates.

In the 2019 election in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin, a total of 17,206 votes were cast, with the following totals: Green Party candidate Desmond Bull received 239 votes or 1.4 per cent, Alberta Party candidate Sherry Greene received 1,170 votes or 6.8 of the total, NDP incumbent Bruce Hinkley received 4,200 votes or 24.4 of the total, AAP candidate Wesley Rea received 233 votes or 1.4 of the total, FCP candidate David White received 466 votes or 2.7 per cent of the total and UCP candidate Rick Wilson received 10,898 votes for 63.3 per cent of the total. According to Elections Alberta there are 26,515 registered voters in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin.

In the Drayton-Devon constituency, a total of 23,055 votes were cast in the 2019 election according to the unofficial results. Liberal Party candidate Ronald Brochu received 196 votes for 0.9 per cent of the total, FCP candidate Steve Goodman received 569 votes or 2.5 per cent of the total, AAP candidate Mark Gregor received 283 votes or 1.2 per cent of the total, Alberta Independence Party candidate Les Marks received 211 votes for 0.9 per cent of the total, independent candidate Carol Nordlund Kinsey received 105 votes for 0.5 per cent of the total, Kieran Quirke of the NDP received 3,943 votes for 17.1 per cent of the total, UCP incumbent Mark Smith received 16,292 votes for 70.7 of the total and Alberta Party candidate Gail Upton received 1,456 votes for 6.3 per cent of the total.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

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