The Alberta Party leadership race is being credited for some huge growth in party support. Last December there was around 1,600 active members but at the cut off for voting eligibility in February membership had grown to more than 6,500.
After one ballot former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel came away with 66 per cent of the vote. Kara Levis had 18 per cent and Rick Fraser walked away with 16 per cent. Provincial Organizer Conrad Guay, who resides in Grande Prairie, says Mandel is the perfect leader to help keep the momentum going.
“Mr. Mandel there has a lot of experience, he has a lot of connections and he knows a lot of people. He’s a great organizer and a great team builder. So, I think it will be a great thing for the Alberta Party.”
Guay says the majority of the growth was seen in the capital region and Calgary area but there was also growth seen in northern Alberta areas, that’s something Guay expects to continue.
“He’s very much about building the [constituency associations], building up the organization and the team building. So, I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to offer and what his plans are.”
Guay says he’s unsure of his specific plans for the Grande Prairie area but Mandel is known as a supporter of small business and local industry, something he expects to continue.
The leadership race was triggered when Greg Clark announced he was stepping down from the role in November. He told CBC news he wanted to spend more time with his family and hoped to grow the party through a membership drive.