Local alderman to face incumbent MLA in election
Deputy Mayor Kelly Hegg will represent the Progressive Conservative Party in the Airdrie riding in the upcoming provincial election.
On Jan. 28, a total of 371 voters cast ballots, and Hegg was elected as their nominee at the Woodside Seniors Club. The process went to a second ballot. The number of votes received by each candidate was not made public by the Airdrie PC Association.
“I’m excited,” said Hegg. “It’s great to see the members of the party put their trust in me to lead the party.”
Hegg defeated former Airdrie mayor Linda Bruce and engineering firm director Michael Crawford. Hegg is the principal at Coventry Hills School in Calgary and has been a member of Airdrie City council for the past seven years. He said he wanted to make the leap into provincial politics because he feels the constituency needs to have its voices heard by the government.
“Now comes the time when I can take the skills and experience I have and kick it up a notch and take it to a provincial level,” he said. “If you want to change something, you have to get involved. Now is the time for Airdrie to be represented by a PC MLA.”
Current Airdrie-Chestermere MLA Rob Anderson, who was elected to the position in 2008 as a PC and crossed the floor to the Wildrose Party in 2010, congratulated Hegg on the win.
“I am looking forward to a very good debate,” he said. “We have two stark choices that we want to take Alberta and this community in.”
Anderson said the overarching theme of the coming election for the new Airdrie-only constituency will be who has a record of standing up for the community.
“Over my term and Kelly’s term on council, who was able to get schools? Who was able to put together a committee on health care to get 24-hour service to our residents? Who stood up and stopped the transmission line projects? These are the questions Airdrie residents will be asking,” Anderson said.
Hegg said Airdrie residents are looking for someone who is dedicated to the party and will remain a PC for their full term.
“(Anderson) doesn’t understand what it means to promise one thing and deliver another. In politics, you have too much ‘I’ and ‘me’ from some politicians,” he said. “True political leadership is about ‘us’ and ‘we.’”
Hegg’s competition and former colleague, Bruce, said it wouldn’t have mattered who won because each candidate was worthy.
“At the debate, when I heard everyone’s answers to the questions, I knew it didn’t matter what the results were because there were three great candidates,” she said.
“I am very excited for Kelly and happy to jump on board with him. He and his wife are genuinely thrilled and you just know it really meant something to them. Kelly will give it his all.”
Crawford also put his support behind Hegg.
“The party selected Kelly and I am happy with that,” he said.
“I am a man of my word and now that I have committed to this, I will stick with it. It is about more than just one person and I plan to stand behind Kelly if he will have me.”
Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown said Hegg is a tremendous candidate.
“He as a lot of integrity and I am happy for him. It is great for him and great for the community,” he said.
“Kelly, being one of my council team, I support him. We would lose an excellent alderman if he wins.”
Hegg said he will not resign from City council unless he wins this spring’s provincial election. Under the Municipal Government Act, if an alderman resigns with less than 18 months left in his term, City council can choose to forgo a byelection. Hegg will reach the 18-month mark in May.
A date for this spring’s provincial election has yet to be set by Premier Alison Redford.