Who’s running in the Alberta UCP leadership race?

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s Premier race takes shape with crowded field' Alberta’s Premier race takes shape with crowded field
WATCH ABOVE: In Alberta, the race to replace Jason Kenney is taking shape with eight people announcing their candidacy so far. And with a provincial election year away, the United Conservative party has little time to waste. But as Heather Yourex-West explains, keeping his "big tent" party together through a leadership contest will not be easy – Jun 18, 2022

The United Conservative Party has announced rules for a leadership contest to be held on Oct. 6 to choose a new leader and the province’s next premier.

The race became necessary when Premier Jason Kenney announced last month that he was stepping down after he received 51.4 per cent support in a leadership review.

Read more: New Alberta UCP leader to be elected on Oct. 6

Click to play video: 'Calgary MLA Rebecca Schulz enters UCP leadership race' Calgary MLA Rebecca Schulz enters UCP leadership race
Calgary MLA Rebecca Schulz enters UCP leadership race – Jun 14, 2022

Here is a list of the candidates who have so far declared they want his job:

Leela Aheer: UCP backbench member of the legislature for Chestermere-Strathmore. Was member of Kenney’s original cabinet as minister for culture, multiculturalism and the status of women. Removed from cabinet in 2021 after criticizing Kenney’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Promises to restore trust in the party and to work to help the underprivileged.

Read more: UCP backbencher Leela Aheer throws hat into leadership race

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Brian Jean: UCP backbench member for Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche. Former Wildrose party leader and co-founder of the UCP when his party merged with Kenney’s Progressive Conservatives in 2017. Lost to Kenney in first UCP leadership race. Promises to unite the party on shared grassroots ideals and principles.

Click to play video: 'Analyzing the UCP leadership race so far with political scientist Duane Bratt' Analyzing the UCP leadership race so far with political scientist Duane Bratt
Analyzing the UCP leadership race so far with political scientist Duane Bratt – Jun 8, 2022

Todd Loewen: Backbench member for Central Peace-Notley constituency. Sits as an Independent after being voted out of UCP caucus in 2021 for urging Kenney to resign. Promises to restore trust in party, push for greater Alberta autonomy in dealings with Ottawa.

Read more: Alberta MLA booted from UCP caucus now running to become party’s leader

Bill Rock: Mayor of the village of Amisk in east-central Alberta. Ran unsuccessfully for Wildrose party in 2015. Running on platform to advocate for rural Albertans on issues including crime and health care.

Rajan Sawhney: UCP legislature member representing Calgary-North East. Was member of Kenney’s cabinet, first as minister for community and social services, then in transportation. Promises to hold public inquiry into Alberta’s COVID-19 response.

Read more: Rajan Sawhney announces bid for UCP leadership

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Rebecca Schulz: UCP member for Calgary-Shaw. Was in cabinet as minister of children’s services. Promises to continue fight for better deal with federal government, to improve economy and to rebuild trust with Albertans and party faithful.

Read more: Calgary MLA Rebecca Schulz enters UCP leadership race

Danielle Smith: Former Wildrose party leader who led floor-crossing to Progressive Conservatives in 2014. Has since worked in business and as a radio talk-show host. Promises grassroots participation in party and to pursue increased Alberta independence within Confederation.

Read more: Ex-Wildrose leader Danielle Smith reannounces UCP leadership bid as next step in Alberta politics

Travis Toews: UCP member representing Grande-Prairie Wapiti. Accountant and rancher. Had been finance minister since the start of the UCP government. Promises to heal rifts in party and restore trust with Albertans, while maintaining fiscal honesty.

Read more: Travis Toews steps down as finance minister, throws hat into UCP leadership race

Sawhney, Schulz and Toews stepped down from cabinet to avoid potential conflict of interest during the leadership run.

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