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NDP, UCP split Lethbridge in Alberta election

Click to play video: 'Alberta Election: Nathan Neudorf on election victory in Lethbridge-East'
Alberta Election: Nathan Neudorf on election victory in Lethbridge-East
Quinn Campbell interviews Lethbridge-East UCP candidate Nathan Neudorf following a tight race which culminated in his election victory Monday – May 30, 2023

The provincial political landscape in Lethbridge is going unchanged in the 2023 Alberta provincial election.

In Lethbridge-West late Monday, the NDP’s Shannon Phillips was re-elected to a third term in office, defeating UCP challenger Cheryl Seaborn as she received just shy of 54 per cent of the popular vote.

Phillips, a former cabinet minister, was first elected in 2015 and served as environment minister from 2015-2019.

“It’s just profound gratitude that I’ve had the honour of representing this city now for my third term which I owe entirely to the voters of Lethbridge-West, to the volunteers who have worked so hard on my campaigns over the years and to the people of Lethbridge who have made a very clear choice that they are looking for a strong voice to stand up for public healthcare, for public education, for better jobs going forward and a province that respects the rule of law,” Phillips said.

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For Phillips, this will be her second term in the legislature sitting as a member of the opposition. She was the NDP finance critic from 2019-2023.

Click to play video: 'Alberta election results show Lethbridge stays divided between NDP and UCP'
Alberta election results show Lethbridge stays divided between NDP and UCP

Despite her local victory, she is disappointed in the province-wide outcome of a UCP majority government.

“There’s no question that this is not the result we hoped for,” Phillips said.

“There is no question that a number of New Democrats, a number of candidates who worked very, very hard are very disappointed tonight.”

Click to play video: 'Alberta election: NDP’s Shannon Phillips retains Lethbridge-West seat'
Alberta election: NDP’s Shannon Phillips retains Lethbridge-West seat

The runner-up for Lethbridge-West, Cheryl Seaborn, who became the riding’s UCP candidate just weeks before the writ drop garnered more than 42 per cent support.

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“It’s always disheartening maybe to lose your own riding, but the overall goal is to make sure a UCP majority gets elected, and it happened, and that’s a wonderful thing and I’m excited to see what Premier Smith is able to do in the future and the next four years,” Seaborn said.

Seaborn also expressed gratitude Monday for that support and to those who worked on her campaign.

“I’ve had the most marvelous experience over the last five weeks and the most marvelous team.”

“When I did this I wanted no regrets, and I can honestly say we have no regrets, our team worked so hard, we wanted a positive message out there and we kept our word on that,” she said.

The Alberta Party’s Braham Luddu and Alberta Liberal’s Pat Chizek finished third and fourth in the riding receiving just 1.9 per cent and 1.7 per cent of the popular vote respectively.

In Lethbridge-East, another incumbent, the UCP’s Nathan Neudorf narrowly held on to his seat and will return to the legislature for a second term.

Neudorf, first elected in 2019, was one of two deputy premiers and Minister of Infrastructure in the UCP cabinet under Premier Danielle Smith prior to the 2023 election.

“It’s been a journey for sure,” Neudorf said.

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“The four years had lots of ups and downs, a lot of challenges, and I’m glad that throughout it all I was able to secure the vote of the majority of people in Lethbridge-East for a second term.”

Neudorf defeated NDP challenger and former city councillor Rob Miyashiro, garnering 50.6 per cent of the popular vote.

Click to play video: 'Alberta election: UCP holds Lethbridge-East seat'
Alberta election: UCP holds Lethbridge-East seat

Miyashiro, a two-term city councillor finished the runner-up with slightly more than 47 per cent of the vote.

The NDP told Global News Miyashiro would not be made available for comment on Monday night.

The Alberta Liberal’s Helen McMenamin finishing a distant third place in the riding receiving just 2.2 per cent of votes cast.

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