By Medicine Hat News on July 15, 2018.
A candidate seeking the UCP nomination for Brooks-Medicine Hat has been asked to withdraw from the race by the party less than 48-hours before voting begins.
“I have been asked by the United Conservative Party to withdraw my name as contestant for the Party candidacy in the Brooks Medicine Hat riding,” wrote Todd Beasley in a Facebook post that went up shortly before midnight on July 14. “While I do not agree with this request, I respect the Party’s right to approve or reject their potential candidates. My name will not appear on the upcoming ballot.”
Beasley was one of three people vying for the candidacy. The News has not yet been able to reach Beasley for comment.
“Those of you who know me well know that I have strong opinions on many subjects. I make no apologies for those thoughts, many of which I have expressed publicly,” Beasley wrote in his post. “There is a perception in some quarters that certain published opinions could be construed as intolerant and offensive to some. Again, I make no apologies. My sense of right and wrong will not allow me to remain silent when my conscience demands otherwise.”
“Rules were broken, and things were posted and said that just don’t agree with the party’s stance on different issues, and that’s why he was disqualified,” said Jeff Lanigan, president of the Brooks-Medicine Hat UCP riding association, who was informed Saturday night by the party that Beasley wouldn’t be on the ballot.
Lanigan said he has heard from people concerns that the vote is rigged and should be cancelled.
“It’s not rigged, it’s been fair right from the start. All candidates know the rules and that they need to follow those rules,” he said, explaining that the UCP won’t tolerate something that other parties could use against them moving forward.
Lanigan wasn’t involved in the decision and couldn’t say exactly what posts were the issue — directing the News to the UCP executive, whom the News has left a message with asking for comment.
Beasley called on the UCP to cancel the nomination riding, and take the time to “identify and recruit strong candidates.”
“It’s my opinion that the arbritrary (sic) timeline of this crucial vote has not been necessary. The people of Brooks Medicine Hat deserve the very best representation possible,” he wrote adding that if the election goes ahead he asks his supporters to follow their own best judgment.
Voting for the UCP candidate in Brooks-Medicine Hat riding takes place Monday and Tuesday.
It starts in Brooks at the Heritage Inn, 1217 Second St. West, on July 16 from noon to 8 p.m., and in Medicine Hat on July 17 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board, 403 Fourth St. S.E.
Beasley, Michaela Glasgo and Dinah Hiebert were the three people seeking to represent the UCP for the riding in the 2019 provincial election.