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Former Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman registers to join UCP leadership race

Click to play video: 'Former Liberal leader, PC MLA Raj Sherman joins UCP leadership race' Former Liberal leader, PC MLA Raj Sherman joins UCP leadership race
WATCH ABOVE: Former Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman has announced he will run in the UCP leadership race. Tom Vernon has the details – Jun 29, 2022

Another familiar face to Alberta politics is joining the race to be leader of the United Conservative Party.

Former Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman announced Wednesday morning he will run to be the next UCP leader.

“I’m running to be the premier of Alberta and to lead the UCP to victory in the next provincial election,” he said.

Sherman is also a former PC MLA. He was elected leader of the Alberta Liberal Party in 2011 after crossing the floor from the then-Progressive Conservative Party.

In January 2015, Sherman announced he was stepping down as leader of the Liberal party and that he would not seek re-election.

Read more: Raj Sherman won’t seek re-election; Doug Griffiths resigns

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Sherman is an emergency room physician working in Edmonton. He says his experience working in the health system drove him to re-enter politics. Sherman said he’s running to ensure healthcare is front and centre not only in this leadership race but also in next spring’s general election.

“I simply think the amount of suffering we’ve seen on the frontlines — I told my family: ‘Enough is enough’ — and I’ve seen enough.

“I can’t sit idly by. I need to add the voice of the frontline healthcare worker to the health-care debate and what’s happening in society,” Sherman said at an event in Edmonton.

“We simply have to do better.”

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Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner not running for UCP leadership – Jun 23, 2022

The UCP’s leadership rules outline that to be an eligible leadership contestant, a person must be a party member for at least six months prior to the deadline for applications, which is at 5 p.m. on July 20.

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Sherman has only been a member of the UCP since May.

He says he wasn’t a member earlier because he was a member of the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons, which is an apolitical organization.

“I wasn’t a member of any political party until May. The week that I resigned from the CPSA, I purchased a three-year UCP membership.”

Sherman said he requested a waiver from the UCP in order to run for the leadership position. He says his initial request was refused but he plans to “earn their trust and respect.”

“I intend to do the work required to get into the leadership race,” he said Wednesday.

Sherman says he plans on signing up thousands of Albertans to the party and fundraising “for the team” to earn that trust.

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

There are now nine people registered with Elections Alberta to replace Jason Kenney as leader of the UCP.

Former Finance Minister Travis Toews, UCP backbencher and former Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean, former Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith, Independent MLA Todd Loewen, Amisk Mayor Bill Rock, UCP backbencher Leela Aheer, former Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz and former Minister of Community and Social Services Rajan Sawhney have also all announced their intentions to run for leadership of the UCP.

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Read more: Who’s running in the Alberta UCP leadership race?

The next leader of the UCP, and premier of the province, will be chosen on Oct. 6.

The race became necessary when Kenney announced in May that he was stepping down after receiving 51.4 per cent support in a leadership review.

Click to play video: 'How Premier Jason Kenney’s resignation will change Alberta’s political landscape' How Premier Jason Kenney’s resignation will change Alberta’s political landscape
How Premier Jason Kenney’s resignation will change Alberta’s political landscape – May 20, 2022

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