Local NDP supporters pondering next move

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Patricia Norman considering another run

INNISFAIL – With a byelection expected in the riding of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake sometime over the next several months, political parties are preparing for the call.

Former provincial New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Patricia Norman said she and other NDP supporters are considering their next move.

“I believe we did well (in the last election) but we’re in the heart of Conservative country,” said Norman. “It’s been blue in the province for 44 years.”

Norman said the legislature will resume sitting in early March and the earliest a byelection could be called is March 9. The riding seat has been vacant since last month due to the sudden resignation of the UCP’s Don MacIntyre.

“I’ve talked with a few people and I’ve been approached (to run in the byelection). I honestly have not made a decision,” she said. “I am fully aware of what we’re up against here. We don’t have an active NDP constituency association.

“It never did get off the ground after the election in 2015,” she added.

In the 2015 provincial election Norman came third in the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake riding, capturing just over 23 per cent of the vote.

Norman said she is not sure a lot has changed in the riding in terms of NDP support since the last election, and with much at stake she is not certain she will run this time around.

“It’s a lot of work. I’m doing some serious thinking,” said Norman, adding the one different factor for both the byelection and the upcoming general election expected next spring is the support the riding will have from sitting MLAs in Edmonton.

“There will be way more support down here than I had in 2015,” said Norman. “That is a real positive.”

Patricia Norman, former NDP candidate

“It’s a lot of work. I’m doing some serious thinking.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.