Petrovic takes UCP nomination in Liv-Mac

United Conservatives in Livingstone-Macleod have selected Chelsae Petrovic to represent the party in this spring’s provincial election.

Petrovic, currently serving as Claresholm's mayor, beat nomination hopefuls Tanya Clemens, who placed second, and Don Whalen after party polls closed in the riding Saturday evening.

Petrovic will face the NDP’s Kevin Van Tighem, who secured his party’s nomination for the riding last November, when Albertans head to the polls in May.

“The next 10 weeks are going to require hard work and sacrifice to ensure Livingstone-Macleod remains a place where our values, freedoms and family are the bedrock of our communities,” Petrovic wrote in a social media post Sunday.

The UCP nomination race for the riding unofficially got underway last spring, when Danielle Smith informed incumbent MLA Roger Reid that she would contest his candidacy. Reid was prepared to fend off her challenge, but Smith instead ran successfully in a byelection for the Brooks-Medicine Hat seat, shortly after winning the UCP’s leadership race in October.

Reid announced a short time later that he would not run for re-election, telling constituents he wanted to spend more time with his family.

The MLA’s withdrawal left Nadine Wellwood, a former People’s Party candidate, as Reid’s heir apparent, but the UCP soon rejected Wellwood’s application and subsequent appeal in light of her social media comments comparing the federal government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic to the Nazis’ Third Reich.

A UCP nomination committee left Petrovic, Clemens and Whalen in the running, according to Mark Cooper, president of the UCP’s Livingstone-Macleod constituency association.

Petrovic’s campaign team declined an in-person interview with the candidate, citing short-term scheduling constraints.

Laurie Tritschler, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze