The UCP Cypress-Medicine Hat constituency association has a new president and board. And one of its first pieces of business will be to find a new candidate after MLA Drew Barnes was booted from the party following a UCP caucus vote in May.
“It’s a new board, new everything,” said William Brotzell, who was elected president during the constituency association’s annual general meeting last month.
Brotzell says the board will begin the search for a new candidate and, “We want to start that as soon as possible.”
To that end, Brotzell added two potential candidates have already been identified and the vetting process will begin as soon as possible to allow those seeking the position to begin their campaigns for the nomination.
As for the likelihood of Barnes returning to the UCP fold, Brotzell said, “That ship has sailed,” and party leadership would be required to sign off on potential candidates for the nomination race.
Brotzell says a date for the nomination election hasn’t been set and, “It probably won’t happen this year.”
Brotzell is no stranger to Alberta conservative politics, working for the Progressive Conservatives under former premier Peter Lougheed and serving as the Tories’ regional director for southern Alberta under Don Getty until the early years of former premier Ralph Klein’s tenure.
The born and bred Medicine Hatter will also have a new board of 20 members.
“It’s a good board, very loyal and very determined to represent the province and Cypress-Medicine Hat,” said Brotzell.
He added the goal of the board is to get a UCP MLA elected in the constituency that will put southeastern Alberta’s “forgotten corner” moniker to rest within a UCP government.
Brotzell replaces former board president Marco Jansen, who stepped down earlier this year after he announced his candidacy for the upcoming Medicine Hat council election.
Myles Mulholland had been serving as interim-president while the constituency’s AGM was delayed due to COVID.
ALEX MCCUAIG, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News