Saturday is the official start of the race to lead the Progressive Conservatives.
Political Scientist Duane Bratt feels that former MP Jason Kenney is the front runner and he told the Alberta Morning News, Kenney will benefit because he’s going into the race against current and former MLAs who have only been in office for a few terms.
“Jason Kenney has a 20 year track record, was at the highest reaches of the Harper government,” Bratt says. “He hasn’t been involved in provincial politics, but he is a very strong retail politician with name recognition.”
Bratt also feels that Kenney’s head start will lift him past his opponents. Kenney has been travelling across the province all summer.
Of the candidates so far, Kenney is the only one talking about uniting the right, and merging the PC party with the Wildrose. Bratt said that makes this race kind of like a referendum for the party, which could actually lead to Kenney’s downfall.
“This is step one of Kenney’s five-point plan,” Bratt said. “Any one of those steps, if there’s a miscalculation or he fails to achieve it, it’s over for him. So he has to win the leadership, then he has to negotiate the merger, then he has to win the leadership of the next party, then he has to win the election, there’s a lot of different steps there and this is step one.”