Wanner says decision not yet made on 2019 run

By Charles Lefebvre
June 17, 2018 - 8:17am

MEDICINE HAT, AB – With the provincial election less than a year away, parties in Alberta are beginning to line up candidates for each riding.

On Tuesday, the United Conservative Party announced Drew Barnes has been acclaimed as a candidate for the Cypress-Medicine Hat riding, and he will seek his third term in office in May 2019.

However, Medicine Hat MLA Bob Wanner has not yet made a decision about whether he will seek a second term in office next year.

“I’m giving serious consideration,” He told CHAT News on Wednesday. “I’ve received an incredible amount of support and encouragement from local people, both as a MLA and Speaker of the Alberta Legislature. I do need to consult with my extended family, particularly my granddaughter, who at age 15 in 2015 told me that I needed to run because Alberta had to change. She might be one of the first people I’ll need to ask to see if this event in my life happens again.”

Wanner, a former public services commissioner with the City of Medicine Hat, joined the campaign in Medicine Hat in April 2015. He was elected as MLA for Medicine Hat, winning by 370 votes.

In June 2015, Wanner was elected Speaker of the Legislature, a position he has held since.

In 2019, Medicine Hat will be split into two ridings. Half of the city will join Brooks to create the Brooks-Medicine Hat riding, while the other half will join a redrawn Cypress-Medicine Hat riding. Wanner says the two new constituency associations will need to be set up by the party, a process he expects to happen by the fall.

Two NDP MLAs have announced in recent months that they will not be seeking re-election.

Brandy Payne, Associate Minister of Health, announced in April she would not be seeking re-election in Calgary to spend time with family.

Last month, Stephanie McLean, Minister for Service Alberta and Status of Women, said she will not seek a second term in 2019 to focus on her law career.

Others, including Environment Minister Shannon Phillips and Minister of Community and Social Services Irfan Sabir, will run again during the next election.

In his three years as MLA, Wanner has said it has been a privilege to represent Medicine Hat, and is thankful for support from the community.

The 22nd Annual Medicine Hat Jazzfest is underway