United Conservative leadership hopeful Jason Kenney has his first official endorsement from a sitting MLA.
On Wednesday, Kenney attended a small rally in Taber, Alta. where Cardston-Warner-Taber MLA Grant Hunter pledged his support.
“We want to be able to have a leader that can actually represent Alberta’s interests on an international scale,” Hunter said. “I don’t think there’s anybody that can compete with Jason in that way.”
Hunter was elected as an MLA with the Wildrose Party. Even though he’s worked with Wildrose leader Brian Jean in the past, he didn’t see that as a reason endorse Jean as the new party’s leader.
“I don’t think it was an obvious choice at all,” Hunter said. “The reality is, there’s no more Wildrose. There’s no more PC. We are one United Conservative Party (UCP). As such, each individual MLA is going to have to make a decision on who they’re going to vote for.”
As of Wednesday at noon, Brian Jean had seven MLA endorsements to Kenney’s one. It remains early in the race, and Kenney believes he has more commitments on the way.
“We’ll be at other communities in the days to come,” Kenney said. “I’m confident we’ll have a significant number of the United Conservative Caucus.”
Jean and Kenney are joined by Calgary lawyer Doug Schweitzer as leadership candidates. The UCP leadership vote is set for Oct. 28.