Lethbridge candidates for the federal election are hitting the ground running as their election campaigns kick off.
Conservative incumbent Rachael Harder is seeking a second term. Her opponents are Amy Bronson from the Liberal Party, Shandi Bleiken from the NDP, the Green Party’s Stephnie Watson, Grant Hepworth from the People’s Party and Marc Slingerland, who is representing the Christian Heritage Party.
Harder won the 2015 election with about 57 per cent of the vote while the NDP runner-up had 21 per cent.
A margin of this size isn’t shocking, said political scientist Faron Ellis, noting that it’s likely this election will have similar results.
“Unless there is something monumental locally… some type of disaster — it’s almost sure that the Conservatives will hold Lethbridge as a seat,” he said.
Historically, this has been the case. The last five federal elections have seen the Lethbridge Conservative candidate win with more than half of the vote.
Federal Election 2015: Lethbridge riding results
Federal election 2015: Lethbridge Conservative candidate Rachael Harder
Conservative Rachael Harder wins in Lethbridge
Harder, however, said she isn’t letting that affect how she campaigns.
“I take absolutely nothing for granted, nothing,” she said.
“I was elected because I earned the trust of the voters in Lethbridge and I will continue to work hard to earn their trust once again.”
Other candidates say it’s time for change.
“We can make this better by building each other up,” said Shandi Bleiken, the NDP Lethbridge candidate. Bleiken said she believes previous federal governments have tried to appeal to working people but end up being beholden to corporate interests.
“We all have a common need to have a government that’s in it for us.”
For Liberal candidate Amy Bronson, it’s not about the party.
“People in our communities don’t face Liberal problems or Conservative problems, they face people problems and they want those problems and challenges listened to,” she said.
“This is not about parties and politics, this is about listening and finding good representation.”
Canadians go to the polls on Oct. 21.
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