Medicine Hat NDP candidates disappointed in defeat

By Jessie Weisner
April 16, 2019 - 11:37pm

MEDICINE HAT, AB -- After a fiery election that brought Alberta voters to the polls in droves, a winner has been announced.

Results have unofficially declared the United Conservative Party as the majority government in the legislature, leaving the New Democratic party as the Official Opposition.

Contributing to the UCP win is the two local electoral districts, Brooks-Medicine Hat and Cypress-Medicine Hat.

UCP candidate in Cypress-Medicine Hat Drew Barnes took the race, receiving an unofficial vote total of 15,837. NDP candidate Peter Mueller received 6,188.

UCP candidate in Brooks-Medicine Hat Michaela Glasgo received 10,719 votes. NDP candidate Lynn MacWilliam had 3,494.

The NDP candidates hosted an election results viewing party at Browns Social House Tuesday evening, attracting roughly 100 supporters.

Mueller says the support from the community was staggering.

“I was overcome with the amount of people who came out and volunteered who worked hours on our campaign, worked late into the nights, early in the morning, gave up their time,” says Mueller. “It was absolutely wonderful, I didn’t know how many friends I actually had.”

The candidates showed up about an hour after the results were called, feeling disappointment with the call.

“I’m very very disappointed, there were times where I really thought things were going to be different, certain neighbourhoods were very supportive, very friendly,” says Mueller, NDP candidate for Cypress-Medicine Hat. “They cheered us on and so every now and then it felt that there was a good chance that this might turn around.”

MacWilliam was sad to see the NDP lose, but says she did better than when she’s ran in the past.

“You know we did alright, I did better than I did in Strathmore-Brooks so that’s okay but I think I did really well here.”

In 2015, MacWilliam finished in third place in the Strathmore-Brooks riding.

In the meantime, the UCP will be in power for afour-year term. Mueller and MacWilliam say they’ll hold the UCP accountable in the legislature.

“We will certainly hold the NDP feet to the fire because we’ve done great over the last four years and I don’t want to see it reversed,” says MacWilliam. “I want to see it moved forward so we’ll try to work on that.”

“I do congratulate Drew Barnes for his victory and wish him well through the next four years but I think he should note I will be watching him,” says Mueller. “My pen will be actively engaged watching Mr. Barnes in the legislature.”

Elizabeth Thomson, constituency association president, was involved in the campaign, and does believe it could have been done better.

“I think locally getting some candidates in line earlier, because we running against a UCP incumbent and then a UCP candidate that was boosted up by the incumbent and was very active on Twitter and social media and on door knocking quite early,” says Thomson. “So lets line up our candidates a little earlier.”

Mueller, agrees, saying he wishes he could have had more of a person connection with residents.

“I felt like I was being pushed here, pushed there, a puppet on a string kind of thing, I would prefer a more personal agency in the process,” says Mueller. “What I would do differently is right from square one say this is my campaign and we go from there.”

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