Alberta MLA rules out joining leadership race for new United Conservative Party

By The Canadian Press
August 8, 2017 - 10:53am

CALGARY - A would-be contender for the leadership of Alberta's new conservative party has ruled out throwing his hat into the ring.

United Conservative Party MLA Derek Fildebrandt had been widely expected to join former PC leader Jason Kenney, former Wildrose leader Brian Jean and conservative strategist Doug Schweitzer in seeking the leadership of the new party.

But he says, despite being approached by many party members, he has decided not to seek the leadership.

Fildebrandt says he has spent the past two years lobbying for a merger of the two parties and now he wants to build the new party into ``a vehicle for ideas, not just power.''

In his statement, Fildebrandt said he strongly discourages candidates from attempting to hijack policy from the grassroots.

Kenney said last week he would not release a platform during the leadership campaign and would leave it up to party members to determine what positions the UCP would take in the next provincial election.

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