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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

raj retiring.

Edmonton Strathcona NDP MLA Raj Pannu announced today that he will not be seeking re-election in the next general election. Pannu has served Edmonton Strathcona since first being elected in 1997 and was the leader of the Alberta NDP from 2000 to 2004.

I like Raj Pannu. He's a hard worker and is passionate about bringing social justice issues to the forfront in Alberta politics (he's also my MLA). Though some people liked to argue that it wouldn't be true, I've long predicted that the 70+ MLA would not seek re-election.

In my mind, this opens Edmonton Strathcona up as a key battleground between the three-main parties in the next election. Since 1997, Pannu's personal popularity has gained him support from many traditional non-NDP voters and has more than definately been the cause of many high-profile Liberals and Tories declining to run against him.

As for high-profile candidates that may run in Stathcona, here are some potentials...

Liberal - Don Fleming, Ben Henderson, (and I think Nic would make an awesome candidate!)

NDP - Rachel Notley, Larry Booi

PC - Eric Young, Kim Krushell, Janet Riopel

As for past Edmonton-Strathcona election results, here you go...

1989
Gordon Wright, ND- 6,696
Philip Lister, Lib- 4,237
Jack Scott, PC- 3,724

1990* By-Election
Barrie Chivers, ND- 4,927
Nadene Thomas, Lib- 2,252
Eric Young, PC- 1,512
Betty Paschen, Grn- 424
Robert Alford, SC- 224

1993
Al Zariwny, Lib- 6,542
Barrie Chivers, ND- 5,121
Don Grimble, PC- 4,071
Patrick Ellis, SC- 460
Betty Paschen, Grn- 253
Ben Toane, NLP- 108
Noami Rankin, Com- 47

1997
Raj Pannu, ND- 4,274
Mary MacDonald, Lib- 4,214
John Logan, PC- 4,096
John Forget, SC- 552
Myles Kitagawa, Grn- 236
Eshwar Jagdeo, NLP- 47

2001
Raj Pannu, ND- 6,998
John Logan, PC- 4,749
Jim Jacuta, Lib- 1,944
James Lakinn, AFP- 136

2004
Raj Pannu, ND- 7,430
Shannon Stubbs, PC- 2,256
Steven Leard, Lib- 1,850
Adrian Cole, Grn- 287
Jeremy Burns, AA- 275
Kelly Graham, SC- 162

16 comments:

Dave McD said...

The NDP has won six of the last seven elections in Edmonton Strathcona.

Raj is popular, for sure - but I'm not so sure this is a key battleground.

Anonymous said...

If the NDP think Edmonton Strathcona is in the box for them, they are sadly mistaken. Look for the Liberals and PC's to come out swinging.

bryan said...

It may be a traditionally NDP riding, but Dr. Pannu had a ton of personal support from both Liberals and red Tories. The NDP may be in the best position to win the seat, but it will be still be a fight.

With Kevin Taft being in the riding nextdoor, I predict the fight will be between the NDp and the Liberals wit the Tories in a distant third.

Sam said...

Kim Krushell!!

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Larry Booi has endorsed Rachel, actually.

daveberta said...

I saw that... before the website was taken down. I see that you had an endorsement as well. :-)

knsheppard said...

When I was living in that riding, attending the U of A, I certainly appreciated having Raj as my representative. It's unfortunate to see him go, though entirely understandable. I hope the NDP continue to take the riding.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the Liberals have a few more potential candidates in the wings. Ken Lister, Bruce King and Micheal Phair are considering running for the Liberals.

Anonymous said...

Michael would be awesome. I know he supported Laurie Blakeman in Edmonton Centre back in 2004.

michael in calgary said...

A vote for the NDP is a vote for the Tories. They love having an opposition that can't win more than 4 seats.

That's why I'm voting for Kevin Taft's Liberals.

michael in calgary said...

I hear that Kent Hehr is running in my riding Calgary Buffalo and that it is hotly contested. A hotly contested liberal nomination race in calgary!!! things are moving forward!

Jim said...

Michael Phair running for the Liberals?! Whaaa?

I always figured him to be more of an NDP type, given his support for candidates like Azania and Duncan (I think he supported Duncan). But, of course, I voted for both of those people, but I sure as hell wouldn't vote for the Alberta NDP (except for Raj), so it goes that Federal and Provincial politics are two totally different beasts.

A Michael Phair candidacy would be huge, but I hope that you're just not pulling that out of thin air.

daveberta said...

I think Michael Phair would be awesome no mater who he would ever run for. I would just hate to see him be drawn into the trenches of partisan politics - because he does such a good job on City Council.

Jim said...

That's a good point, Dave. It would almost be a shame to see him sullied by the thankless task of being an oppo MLA.

And you're right--he is, by far and away, the best voice on Council right now.

daveberta said...

I wasn't talking about him being an opposition MLA, but come to think of it, he would make a great Minister of Community Development - or Minister of Justice... Hon. Michael Phair, Minister of Justice...

Jim said...

Sure, but that's assuming that he joins the winning side.

And if the winning side has people like Ted Morton on it...