It was a tight race but Peter DeWit will be representing the Progressive Conservatives (PC) in the Lacombe-Ponoka constituency in the next provincial election.
DeWit was declared as the candidate this past Saturday night, knocking out three other candidates including City of Lacombe Councillor Wayne Rempel, former Mayor of Ponoka Larry Henkelman and current sitting PC MLA Rod Fox.
In the end 914 votes were cast in the inter-party nomination race.
DeWit said the experience was “Very nerve wracking,” with each candidate awaiting the results well after 10 p.m. on Saturday night at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.
“We were very excited,” said DeWit . “We worked very hard and it all came together that night,” he said of his campaign and team.
Moving forward, DeWit said he faces a learning curve, but he will be receiving a lot of support from the PC Party. DeWit has already attended PC candidate training this past Sunday in Red Deer.
As a relative newcomer to provincial politics and even though he announced his intention to run in the PC nomination race just over two months ago, DeWit said it was something he started working towards over a-year-and-a-half-ago.
“I’ve always been interested in politics, but now I have more time for it,” he said. “Provincial politics offers a lot more influence, you have towns and municipalities that rely on provincial funding.”
DeWit is a long-time resident of the Lacombe area and has been involved in many aspects of business and the community. He said he is eager to start work within the constituency, connecting with local community leaders and those on the front lines within the City, towns, villages and municipalities.
“It’s my immediate job to connect with those within the local riding.”
The Lacombe-Ponoka constituency is in a great, strategic location within the province, but does face some large challenges such as a rapidly growing community said DeWit.
“We are falling behind in building infrastructure, like roads, wastewater and healthcare. There are many projects on the go but it is a challenge for many municipalities to find funding.”
DeWit wouldn’t reveal if a spring election is on the horizon, but he noted he is prepared for the call, whenever it comes.
Rod Fox was one of the three former Wildrose MLA’s that were defeated in the provincial PC nominations on what was dubbed as Super Saturday (March 28th).
Former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith lost the PC nomination in Highwood to Okotoks Town Councillor Carrie Fischer along with MLA Gary Bikman who lost the PC nomination race in the southern Alberta constituency of Cardston-Taber-Warner to Reeve of the Municipal District of Taber Brian Brewin.
The PC’s now have candidates in place for 83 of 87 constituencies, in anticipation of a provincial election.