January 26, 2015 12:19 pm

Former Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin seeking re-election as Progressive Conservative

Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin resigns to sit as independent.

Global News
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EDMONTON – Independent MLA Joe Anglin has announced he’ll be seeking nomination to run for re-election as a Progressive Conservative. The Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA left the Wildrose last November and has sat as an independent since.

Anglin said he made the decision to run for the PCs after holding a number of town hall meetings, and listening to constituents.

The MLA also cited Premier Jim Prentice’s willingness to protect landowner rights as a key reason in his decision.

“The issue of Bill-36 still needs to be addressed. The province is also facing difficult economic times, and constituents have indicated to me they want someone with experience to represent them in the legislature,” Anglin said.

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READ MORE: Wildrose says Alberta bill to protect private property rights weak

When he left the Wildrose, Anglin said his decision was based on the party losing focus on its original mission of creating a true grassroots party. He added the party and its leadership were in crisis.

READ MORE: Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin leaves party to sit as an independent

Danielle Smith – Wildrose leader at the time – believed Anglin was secretly recording caucus meetings, although she admitted not having proof.

“There was some concern that whatever we said in full, frank discussion was potentially being recorded,” said Smith.

In December, Smith was one of nine Wildrose MLAs who crossed the floor to join the PCs. The defection left the Wildrose with five MLAs, the same number as the Liberals.

READ MORE: Wildrose leader, 8 others join Alberta’s PC party

At the time Anglin said he felt “like the pretty girl at the dance without a date,” implying he could determine who was the Official Opposition.

Despite the comment, he chose to stay independent. Anglin’s decision to now run as a PC creates the possibility that he and Smith will once again be members of the same party.

The nomination vote will be held on February 21. Earlier this month, PC party executive director Kelley Charlebois announced that the party struck a committee to oversee nominations and plans to have 35 nominated candidates in place by Feb. 21.

By law, Alberta is to hold an election during a three-month window in the spring of 2016, but Premier Jim Prentice hasn’t ruled out taking voters to the polls a year early.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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