United Conservative Party candidate Brian Jean easily won the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche byelection Tuesday night and wasted no time reiterating his goal of seeing Alberta Premier Jason Kenney ousted as party leader.
Jean, the former leader of the Wildrose Party, won in a landslide with 63.6 per cent of voters (3,714 votes) choosing the UCP candidate on their ballots with all 61 polls reporting.
NDP candidate Ariana Mancini trailed Jean, capturing 18.4 per cent of the vote (1,081 votes). Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta candidate Paul Hinman came in third with 11 per cent (628 votes).
About 5,800 votes were cast. The official results will be released March 25.
Jean's reaction to his win Tuesday night focused on his desire to have Kenney removed as leader of the UCP at a special general meeting scheduled for Red Deer on April 9 where party members will vote on Kenney's leadership.
Jean who won't be sworn in as an MLA until April 5.
"I'm talking to my team, I'm talking to Albertans, I'm trying to get people excited about going to Red Deer on April 9," he said.
Kenney congratulated Jean with a post on Twitter late Tuesday and thanked volunteers, candidates and voters for participating in the electoral process.
Jean, 59, was the last leader of the Wildrose Party before it merged with the Progressive Conservatives to form the UCP. The Fort McMurray resident ran for leadership of the UCP but was defeated by Kenney.
Jean resigned his seat in 2018 stating he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Congratulations to Brian Jean and the UCP team on winning the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche byelection.<br><br>Thank-you to all of the candidates & their volunteers for their commitment to democracy, and to local voters for participating in the electoral process.
In winning Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche, Jean takes over a seat that is similar to the former Fort McMurray-Conklin riding he once held.
When Jean resigned four years ago, Laila Goodridge won the byelection to replace him.
Goodridge then won in the new riding of Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche in the 2019 general election, but she also resigned her seat.
Goodridge made the successful jump to federal politics in the 2021 election, becoming the Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, which prompted the byelection.
Prior to entering provincial politics, Jean served as MP for the Fort McMurray region from 2004 to 2014.
Jean first announced his intentions to run in the byelection last November. From the beginning of his campaign he focused on Kenney, his former rival, and has been calling for the premier to resign.
"Jason, I hope you see what's coming and I hope you do the right thing," Jean said after claiming victory.
"I know in your heart of hearts you know what the right thing to do is. And you know that the UCP can not win in one year unless you're gone."
Jean said the party needs to unify and in order to do that, they need Kenney to leave as leader.
Mancini congratulated Jean and said she hopes the region will be well represented.
"I am excited to continue to be part of helping Fort McMurray grow, and will never stop seeking improved outcomes for my community, " she said in a news release.
Also running in Tuesday's byelection were: Marilyn Burns, Advantage Party of Alberta; Brian Deheer, Independent; Abdulhakim Hussein, Alberta Liberal Party; Michelle Landsiedel, Alberta Party; and Steven Mellott, Independence Party of Alberta.
with files from Jamie Malbeuf and Audrey Neveu
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca