By Mo Cranker on January 29, 2018.
Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes is hoping to represent the riding for a third time, come 2019.
Barnes held an early-morning press conference Saturday in front of a group of volunteers and supporters to announce that he has registered to run as a member of the United Conservative Party next year.
“I’m excited to say that I’m now registered and will be seeking the United Conservative Party nomination for Cypress-Medicine Hat,” said Barnes. “I’ve had a lot of support over the years, and with my experience I feel I can best represent the beliefs of the area.”
Barnes was first elected into the MLA role in 2012 as part of the Wildrose Party, and was re-elected in 2015. He says the changes to the electoral boundaries have changed the way the riding will work, but it does not change his focus.
“The boundaries were changed so much and it really changed things,” he said. “My heart will always be in the places that I no longer represent, but that doesn’t change that I am looking forward to what the riding will bring and talking to Cypress-Medicine Hatters going forward.”
With many years of politics under his belt, Barnes says it was an easy decision to come to.
“I spoke with my wife and my family a lot,” he said. “Talking to a lot of people in different communities and to my volunteers, I wanted to have that consistency, and to once again represent Cypress-Medicine Hat.”
Barnes says there are many reasons he feels he is the right fit to continue doing the job.
“I think a big one is experience — I’ve been doing this for a while now,” he said. “Another big one is fiscal conservative values. These are the values that Alberta needs to restore the Alberta advantage, to get families and communities back on track and in my almost six years in legislature, I’ve shown that I can consistently stick to focusing on those families and communities.”
Barnes says he is meeting with Jason Kenney this week, and will continue to do so, to put southeast Alberta’s voice out there.