With Alberta’s spring election on the horizon, political parties are hard at work lining up candidates to wave the flag in all corners of the province.
“I’m ready to go,” declared United Conservative Party candidate Laurie Mozeson when asked when she’d like to see Albertans go to the polls.
Mozeson is a retired prosecutor, justice of the peace and citizenship judge. She decided to jump into politics last spring, and is running for the UCP in Edmonton-McClung.
“My whole career has been a challenge, and this is a new one that I’m looking forward to meeting head on.”
When it comes to nominations, the United Conservatives have made the most progress. The party already has already selected 78 candidates. One more nomination meeting will be held before Christmas, the rest will be selected in January.
The governing NDP only has 25 candidates listed on its website so far, but the nomination process will be ramping up for them as well.
“We’re going to keep doing work on important policies as well as making sure that we’re doing the ground game stuff,” Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman said when asked about her party’s election readiness.
“A lot of NDP candidates will be seeing folks on the doorsteps.”
In 2015, the Alberta Party ran only 36 candidates. The party intends to run a full slate of 87 this time. So far, 49 candidates are in place, with a commitment to reach a full compliment by February 1st.
The Alberta Liberals plan to have eight candidates nominated by the end of the week, and say there is a backlog of applicants currently going through the vetting process.
“This is the period where the electorate is beginning to focus,” said Chaldeans Mensah, a political science professor at MacEwan University.
With that attention, Mensah says messaging from the parties needs to be sharpened, and candidates need to be aware that any mistakes now could be very costly.
“The parties have to be careful, watch their candidates in terms of their social media presence to avoid any gaffes, which could be used against them in the campaign period.”
Premier Rachel Notley has committed to holding the vote in the period laid out in legislation, meaning election day will fall sometime between March 1 and May 31.
WATCH BELOW: With a spring election looming, Jennifer Crosby sits down with provincial affairs reporter Tom Vernon to see where things currently stand in the legislature and what the next few months might hold.