Calkins re-elected in Red Deer-Lacombe riding

It may be four years later, but the voters in the Red Deer-Lacombe riding have again elected a Conservative MP.

VICTORY - Conservative MP for Red Deer-Lacombe Blaine Calkins was re-elected in Monday night’s federal election. Calkins greeted supporters at his campaign office in Red Deer on Monday evening.

VICTORY - Conservative MP for Red Deer-Lacombe Blaine Calkins was re-elected in Monday night’s federal election. Calkins greeted supporters at his campaign office in Red Deer on Monday evening.

It may be four years later, but the voters in the Red Deer-Lacombe riding have again elected a Conservative MP.

Lacombe-based and incumbent Conservative MP Blaine Calkins was re-elected on Monday night during the 42nd federal election.

According to the unofficial election results, a total of 61,972 votes were cast in the area covering Blackfalds, Lacombe, Red Deer’s north side, Sylvan Lake and Ponoka.

Calkins received the most votes with 70.4% of the vote, totaling 43,599.

Liberal Party candidate Jeff Rock received 15.4% of the vote, with 9,545 votes cast in his favour.

NDP candidate Doug Hart received 11.4% of the vote, totaling 7,055 votes.

Green Party candidate Les Kuzyk received 2.9% of the vote, totaling 1,773 votes.

At his campaign office in Red Deer on Monday night Calkins spoke to his supporters about being elected for another term.

“It’s a very humbling experience it’s a fourth time for an election win,” he said. “I’m very grateful and I’m very thankful to the voters here in Red Deer-Lacombe. It feels bittersweet sweet that I have another opportunity to go back to Ottawa, but obviously I’m frustrated with the national numbers.

“My job will be will be to represent my constituents and to hold the Liberals to account that they don’t neglect Alberta like they have done in the past.”

Calkins added that he thinks Canadians chose style over substance.

“The Orange Crush (NDPs) now look like the Orange Crash,” he commented. “The premier’s endorsement didn’t seem to help him out anyways.”

Rock also addressed his supporters on Monday night at his Red Deer campaign office he shared with Red Deer-Mountain View Liberal candidate Chandra Kastern.

“It’s very surreal,” he said. “What democracy is about is everyday, average people stepping up to run in the hopes of building a better Canada and a better country and seeking to serve the people of the local constituency. It’s not necessarily about win or lose, it’s about engaging people and we’ve done that with such a success. I’m delighted and thrilled. We rocked this election.

“Justin Trudeau, what makes me so proud to be a Liberal and what makes me so proud to be part of his team, is that he said, ‘I will not go negative. I will speak optimism and hopefulness’ and he stuck to his word, and that makes me so proud. I think Canadians were a little bit wary of that at first the negativity worked but I think Canadians chose optimism, hope, love, community and togetherness rather than divisiveness. I’m so proud of our country that we have chosen that optimism.”

On the day of the federal election, voters were lined up at the doors of the LMC all throughout the day, including a last minute dash at 7:30 p.m. right before the polls closed.

Many came early to vote when the polls opened for many reasons. Some were eager to cast their votes to secure the candidate they wanted to succeed. Others were voting to exercise their democratic right before they got on with their busy day.

Whichever the reason, voters in Red Deer-Lacombe turned out in an astounding rate, officials said.

With an eligible electoral count of 86,609 within the riding, a total of 61,972 voters cast their vote, indicating a turnout of 71.55%, higher than the national average of 68.49%.

-with files from Erin Fawcett and Jenna Swan

news@lacombeexpress.com