MLA Richard Starke en­ters PC lead­er­ship race

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The race for lead­er­ship of the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Party of Al­berta is heat­ing up as more names are thrown into the hat, in­clud­ing a fa­mil­iar face to Drumheller-Stet­tler res­i­dents. Richard Starke, cur­rently MLA for Ver­mil­ion-Lloy­d­min­ster has an­nounced he will be run­ning for the lead­er­ship of the party.

“I’ve been across our great prov­ince and have heard loud and clear, peo­ple are un­happy with how our prov­ince is be­ing run, and they want change,” says Richard Starke, PC Lead­er­ship can­di­date. “Those con­ver­sa­tions mo­ti­vated me to run for the lead­er­ship. Like so many Al­ber­tans, I want to see Al­berta be­come a place of hope, pros­per­ity and op­por­tu­nity once again.”

Starke was first elected in 2012, and dur­ing his ten­ure served as Min­is­ter of Tourism, Parks and Re­cre­ation and is cur­rently the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Cau­cus House Leader.

Starke was fa­mil­iar to res­i­dents of Drumheller-Stet­tler, as Tourism Min­is­ter. He also served as a "Buddy MLA" while the Con­ser­va­tives were in power, giv­ing res­i­dents an ear to the govern­ment.

"Drumheller-Stet­tler was kind of a nat­u­ral fit for me to work with, cer­tainly agri­cul­tural, and when I be­came Tourism Min­is­ter, that is a huge part of what goes on in that part of the world," he said. "I felt very good about the ad­vo­cacy I was in­volved with on be­half of the Town of Drumheller fol­low­ing the 2013 flood­ing. I was there days af­ter the flood to see the work that had been done."

Prior to en­ter­ing provin­cial pol­i­tics, he was a Lloy­d­min­ster City Coun­cil­lor and was a mem­ber of the Lloy­d­min­ster Re­gional Health Foun­da­tion.

With his en­try into the race, there are now five run­ning for the lead­er­ship, the most high pro­file can­di­date be­ing for­mer MP Ja­son Ken­ney, who is run­ning on the mes­sage gain­ing lead­er­ship and then merg­ing with the Wil­drose Party. Also run­ning are Calgary-Var­sity MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans, By­ron Nel­son, and Town of Devon Coun­cil­lor Michael Laveck. Calgary-North West MLA San­dra Jansen is ex­pected to join the race.

Starke says he is a be­liever in the PC Party.

"I see that our party has a fu­ture," he said. "Once we have a leader se­lected in March 2017, I do not think it helps Al­berta for us to spend the next two years lead­ing up to an elec­tion, hav­ing votes, de­stroy­ing par­ties, form­ing par­ties, writ­ing poli­cies and try­ing to se­lect a an­other new leader. That is all time and en­ergy that should be spent hold­ing this govern­ment to ac­count." The party will choose a new leader on March 18.

MLA Richard Starke… run­ning for PC lead­er­ship

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