The Progressive Conservative leadership race comes charging into Calgary Wednesday night, as all six contenders for the top job will be answering questions from Calgarians and trying to get their message out.
Alberta PC association president Bill Smith says now that summer is over, Albertans are starting to watch the race more closely. The first ballot vote will take place Sept. 17, with advance polls held early next week.
“Their campaigns are going full-tilt now. I think now that school’s started up again [and summer is over], it’s getting a little more excitement,” Smith said. “People are getting more and more interested.”
The six candidates vying for leader of the Conservatives are Rick Orman, Gary Mar, Alison Redford, Doug Griffiths, Ted Morton and Doug Horner.
Although no single issue has emerged as the dominant one during the campaign, the candidates will be discussing the economy, the budget, health care, education, energy and whatever other issues attendees at the forum want to present.
This will be the seventh leadership forum across the province since July and Smith says the race is too close to call.
“I honestly can’t call this one,” he said, adding he’s heard from attendees at the other forums that their minds have been changed. “[A lot of people] had their mind set on one particular candidate, but after they spend two hours listening to them, their opinion changes. It’s kind of neat to watch that part of it happen.”
No membership numbers were available, but Smith says a lot of new members are registering to vote for leader.
The forum will take place Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Red and White Club on Crowchild Trail in the northwest. The event will be open to everyone and memberships can be purchased on site.