Alberta election: Non-incumbent candidates in Lethbridge look to flip votes

Click to play video: 'Non-incumbent candidates fight for recognition in Alberta election'
Non-incumbent candidates fight for recognition in Alberta election
WATCH: The UCP's Nathan Neudorf and NDP’s Shannon Phillips are familiar faces in their ridings heading into the Alberta provincial election as the sitting incumbents in Lethbridge-East and Lethbridge-West, but their main opponents have some name recognition behind them – May 16, 2023

The Alberta election is just two weeks away, and candidates continue to go door-to-door, educating voters on their platforms.

Incumbent candidates have a leg up on their opponents.

Non-incumbents are hoping to knock on enough doors and gain enough familiarity to overcome the incumbents’ advantage.

Cheryl Seaborn, UCP candidate for Lethbridge-West, is looking for a breakthrough in her NDP-led riding.

“When you come in and you’re not the incumbent it does take a little bit more effort. Shannon (Phillips) has been around for eight years now as the MLA for Lethbridge-West, and I’m new, so I’ve only had a few weeks of campaign time,” said Seaborn. Her late entry into the race came after her predecessor, Torry Tanner, resigned following a controversial video making unproven claims about pornography and the treatment of LGBTQ2 students in local schools.

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“The challenge really lies in just making sure that I get out to see everyone, really, in the timing that I have, making sure that I get my message out,” said Seaborn.

Click to play video: 'Latest stories on the Alberta election trail'
Latest stories on the Alberta election trail

As for NDP candidate for Lethbridge-East, Rob Miyashiro, he’s confident in his past city council experience and senior citizen advocacy role.  He said, “The other challenge (is that) we need to get people to be OK to vote NDP.”

He is going up against UCP’s Nathan Neudorf, who won his seat in 2019.

“Here’s an opportunity for me to use that experience from my working career, from my experience on city council fighting for similar issues for the City of Lethbridge to help lift people up; and to use Rachel Notley’s leadership and the leadership of our caucus to say ‘hey this is what we’ll do for Albertans,’” said Miyashiro.

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Seaborn recognized her opportunities lie in being a fresh face and “somebody that has a positive outlook, that is coming in to offer the constituents of Lethbridge-West, all of the constituents of Lethbridge-West, a change and an opportunity to be represented in a different way.”

“My grassroots vision of politics, in general, is that it’s not top-down but bottom-up, and that’s how I want to represent Lethbridge-West,” said Seaborn.

As for Miyashiro’s plans, “If we don’t form government but I’m elected, I will hold the UCP’s feet to the fire every day in the legislature.”

With the days before the May 29 election winding down, the non-incumbent candidates will continue their efforts to sway voters toward a change in representation.

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