As most of you probably know, five-term (one of them non-consecutive) Conservative MP Lee Richardson has vacated his seat in Calgary Centre to take up residence with Alison Redford's crew in Edmonton as the Alberta Premier's new principal secretary. Richardson was an old PC MP for the riding, and was lamented as one of the last "Red Tories" in the federal Conservative government.
I'm not going to do a full-on analysis right now, because the by-election hasn't been called and we have no idea who is actually running. But we can say one thing, here and now: it is probably going to stay Conservative even if the federal Cons totally screw up everything from now 'til then. It is a Conservative riding,
Then again, so was Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, and we know how that turned out. While not the same situation by any stretch of the imagination, it goes to show that the candidate sometimes does matter, and if you choose the wrong one, you should prepare for a backlash.
With that dire warning, let's take a look at some of the names floating around for the Conservative nomination in Calgary Centre right now:
Ezra Levant!... will not be running. There was a surprisingly quick Twitter account set-up after Richardson's resignation supporting the Sun TV show host's candidacy, but unfortunately he said to the Calgary Herald he wouldn't be seeking the nomination in the riding. That sucks some of the fun out of this battle, but you remember that election Alberta just had with the conservative fratricide? It'll probably start playing out in Calgary Centre without Levant's help.
Joan Crockatt, a local broadcaster who's appeared on Sun TV a few times, and a former editor of the Calgary Herald, is obviously running. Scrolling own her Twitter feed, you can get a sense that she's definitely a Conservative, attacking Mulcair, retweeting CAPP and the aforementioned Levant, etc. Typical Alberta Conservative stuff.
John Mar, a Calgary alderman, is speculated to likely be running. Apparently a protégé of Richardson, and someone with ties to the provincial PC (and moderate) establishment, Mar (not related to Gary Mar, by the way) could be the provincial PC's candidate in this race, and therefore could continue Richardson's (supposedly) Red Tory track record. However, he does have children and it is a hell of a commute.
Jeremy Nixon is a failed Wildroser candidate who ran in Calgary-Klein and came a respectable second, and he's also been mentioned as a possible candidate. Don't know much about this guy, he didn't make the news like some Wildrose candidates, but he did run for them so let's just assume he's a rabid ultra-con for the sake of drama vs. the run-of-the-mill Crockatt and the moderate Mar.
Andy Crooks is... some guy. Like Crockatt, announced on Twitter he was running and hasn't said a word since. Apparently a lawyer and affiliated with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the Simon House in Calgary. Apparently signed the "Alberta Agenda" declaration, aka that Firewall manifesto, with Harper. That is all I know, more info will be appreciated.
Those are your likeliest candidates that aren't based on random speculation - except for Levant. Keep an eye on daveberta for more updates, he's usually first to get them.
For giggles, who are the expected Liberal candidates? Probably the same person who ran last time, Jennifer Pollock, who still has her site and Twitter up from 2011. No mention of her candidacy yet, however, and while she seems like an awesome candidate, I do think someone else should step up to the plate - variety is always good, just sayin'.