BY JASMINE O’HALLORAN-HAN
After weeks of campaigning, then waiting for the votes to slide in, Wildrose Party representative Jason Nixon won the election for the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding Tuesday night.
Nixon received 6,670 votes.
After winning the election, Nixon said he felt excited and humbled by people putting their trust in him in the constituency.
“I’m going to work my butt off in the next couple of years to make sure I earn their trust,” Nixon said. “I’m feeling pretty happy for the Wildrose Party.”
He reflected on the previous few months where some people considered the Wildrose Party to be almost dead.
This is when he said he was proud of his colleagues because they were able to hold it all together and find a new leader.
“We will be Official Opposition,” Nixon said. “Now the only difference is that we will be holding an NDP government to account.”
Nixon said the biggest challenge of his campaign was trying to spread his message to as many people as possible in 20 days.
Nixon said he listened to people and took their concerns seriously about government accountability, which helped in his campaign’s success.
He said the Wildrose Party has been good for being in Official Opposition in the last few years and said many people wanted to see Wildrose MLAs standing up to keep the government accountable.
As the new MLA, Nixon will take the next few months to plan meetings with stakeholder groups across the riding. He said he is going to start developing a plan of focus for the next couple of years.
Some of the issues Nixon plans to tackle are flood mitigation, infrastructure issues and stable municipal funding, which is something he said he is very passionate about.
“I’m concerned that our municipal areas, particularly rural Alberta, are struggling,” Nixon said. “They don’t have stable and predictable municipal funding and I want to fight for that.”
Progressive Conservative candidate Tammy Cote was second in the running and earned 5,296 votes. Nixon commended her on running a strong campaign.
“Only another candi- date can understand what a marathon of what a general election is,” Nixon said. “I congratulate her on a well-run campaign. I look forward to meeting with her to talking about some of her ideas for the riding.”
Although disappointed with the results, Cote said she is still happy with the campaign she ran. She said she worked with a supportive and wonderful team who worked hard to actively promote their ideas.
Right from the start Cote and her team made the commitment to run a very positive campaign, with no negative words mentioned towards any of the other parties or candidates.
Cote said she was proud to be a PC representative. She said her team’s focus was strictly on their campaign, which included focusing on what they could offer people and what was needed to move the province forward.
“I’m really happy with what we did,” Cote said. “We planned to run a clean campaign and focused on what we had to offer. We worked hard on that and did everything we could.”
Going forward Cote is not sure of what her impact will be on the constituency. She said her main focus was on the elections.
Even as Cote came in second, she said she wouldn’t have done anything differently in her campaign.
“We did everything that we could,” Cote said. “I think the numbers are a reflection of people looking for change.”