OPEN LINE TO D.C. FOR MLA

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - LAU­REN KRUGEL The Cana­dian Press — WITH FILES FROM JAMES WOOD

united Con­ser­va­tive Party leader Ja­son Ken­ney says there are ben­e­fits to a newly elected Mla hav­ing worked on don­ald trump’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

On Fri­day, Ken­ney cel­e­brated his party’s big vic­to­ries in two by­elec­tions the day be­fore, which saw devin dreeshen elected in In­n­is­fail-Syl­van lake with 80 per cent of the vote and laila Goodridge, who took two-thirds of the vote in Fort McMur­ray-Con­klin.

He also de­fended dreeshen for his ex­ten­sive work as a vol­un­teer on trump’s suc­cess­ful 2016 cam­paign, de­spite Ken­ney’s own views on trump.

“I’m not a fan but I rec­og­nize he’s the elected pres­i­dent of our largest trad­ing part­ner and we have to deal with that ad­min­is­tra­tion,” the uCP leader told re­porters at the Black­foot diner park­ing lot.

“I think it’s ac­tu­ally help­ful to have in our cau­cus an Mla who can get peo­ple on the phone in the u.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

In Novem­ber 2016, dreeshen and an­other con­ser­va­tive po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist penned a lengthy ar­ti­cle in the Hill times in Ot­tawa chron­i­cling their work on trump’s cam­paign.

they wrote that they cam­paigned off and on be­tween Fe­bru­ary and Novem­ber of that year, and vis­ited 28 states.

deputy pre­mier Sarah Hoff­man said Fri­day the party wasn’t ex­pect­ing to win the by­elec­tions in two seats that both went for the Wil­drose in the last elec­tion.

She said the NdP isn’t plan­ning to re­cal­i­brate its mes­sage.

“al­ber­tans will have their say in 2019 in a gen­eral elec­tion. (thurs­day) was two rid­ings that stayed con­ser­va­tive that were con­ser­va­tive be­fore.”

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