Constituents in the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding will have a chance to vote for the candidate of their choice later this week.
Jason Nixon, who is challenging incumbent Joe Anglin to represent the Wildrose Party in the next election, confirmed dates have been set for the upcoming election.
He said voting polls will be open Fri., July 4 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion in Sundre and from noon to 8 p.m. at the Beatty House in Rimbey.
Voters are required to be paid members of the Wildrose Party as of June 13 and residents of the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding.
Nixon declared his candidacy shortly after Wildrose announced that nominations were officially open, stating he had taken a leave of absence from his position as constituency president of the party so he could let his name stand.
The 34-year-old accountant and president of Athabasca University Student Union said he threw his hat into the political ring because he believes the constituents have the right to have a choice as to whom they want for an MLA.
Since Nixon’s announcement MLA Joe Anglin fought to have him disqualified, but his allegations were not supported. Anglin alleged that Nixon did not step down from the presidency of the constituency association prior to filing his application and that he remained president until June 16.
In a press release, Wildrose president David Yager said the allegations made by Anglin were investigated and both Anglin and Nixon were given the opportunity to make submissions in writing to the Provincial Candidate Selection Committee.
“The PCSC reviewed the full record, found that the evidence did not support the allegations made by Mr. Anglin and ruled that Mr. Nixon’s application should be accepted,’ he said.
Anglin unsuccessfully appealed that ruling to a separate appeal committee.
“Two separate bodies have reviewed Mr. Anglin’s allegations against Mr. Nixon. Both found that the evidence did not support the allegations. Both ruled that Mr. Nixon’s application was compliant and should be accepted,” said.
The grassroots members of the local constituency nomination committee in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre also ruled they have no concerns with Nixon’s candidacy.
“Wildrose favours open, contested nominations. We will not alter our democratic, grassroots nomination process to favour a particular person or outcome,” he said.
In an email, Anglin defended his position.
“I am the strongest advocate for the protection of water and the environment in the WRP caucus. I’m currently leading the Wildrose Party’s effort to create a policy with regard to water use and fracing. Hopefully my constituents want me to continue this work,” he said.
“Since I have been elected, of the 87 MLAs representing all parties in the legislature, no one has logged more hours under the dome advocating for their constituents than I have. That’s my record, and I will run on it.”
Since Nixon announced his candidacy he received signatures of support from nearly half of the 800 constituency association members.
“I turned in just shy of 400 signatures,” he said. “We’ve been going at it really steady and it’s exciting,” he added.
Nixon said he is confident he broke no rules in letting his name stand in the election and is focusing on his job as a candidate.
“I have no personal friends on the executive of the party. I haven’t even met any of them face to face.”
He added he decided to run as he is concerned the Wildrose Party might lose the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding to the Tories.
“There’s a strong possibility the Tories could claim this seat. “The feedback I have heard is that people want an MLA who is active, visible and focused on relevant issues. They want an MLA who can work with all levels of government to solve issues that matter.”