Calgary MLA Michael Connolly doesn't plan to seek re-election

Calgary MLA Michael Connolly doesn't plan to seek re-election

NDP MLA Michael Connolly announced Saturday that he does not plan to seek re-election in 2019.

Connolly, who represents the riding of Calgary-Hawkwood, was one of the first three openly gay MLAs to be elected in the province, alongside Ricardo Miranda and Estefania Cortes-Vargas, and one of the first two to be elected in Calgary.

He said in a Facebook post the decision wasn't easy.

"While I love this job and everything I have been able to accomplish for the people of Calgary-Hawkwood and Albertans, I feel that, at this time in my life, it is best for me to pursue other goals," he said.

Connolly was also the second-youngest elected MLA, at 21.

He thanked his constituents and colleagues for their support over the past three years.

"I also want to thank Alberta's LGBTQ2S+ community, who allowed me and inspired me to be one of their first representatives in Alberta's Legislature," he said. 

The 24-year-old was awarded the Harvey Milk Equality Award in San Diego in 2016, for his co-sponsorship of two bills that supported LGBTQ2S+ rights.

His time in the legislature also wasn't without controversy. In 2016, Connolly had to apologize to the assembly after he was seen giving the finger to Wildrose MLA Angela Pitt during question period.

NDP MLAs Stephanie McLean and Brandy Payne have also said they don't plan to run again for provincial office in 2019.