Joe Anglin wants his old job back.
The former MLA for Rimbey – Rocky Mountain House – Sundre will be seeking the seat again in the upcoming provincial election as the nominee for the Alberta Party.
Born in Massachusetts, Anglin came to prominence in 2006 when he organized and led the Lavesta Area Group, an association of Alberta landowners opposed to the construction of a transmission line through their area.
Anglin first ran for provincial office in 2008 for the Alberta Green Party in Lacombe-Ponoka, losing to PC incumbent Ray Prins. Anglin then served as leader of the party until its dissolution the following year.
He was elected to town council in Rimbey in 2010 and in 2012 as MLA for Rimbey – Rocky Mountain House – Sundre as a member of the Wildrose Party. He left the party in November 2014 and sat as an independent before losing in the 2015 provincial election to Jason Nixon.
The loss in 2015 came after Anglin accused Wildrose executives of skewing nomination rules to favour preferred candidates and the party quashed his bid to have Nixon disqualified from running for the Wildrose nomination in the riding.
Last fall, Anglin hinted at joining the fledgling Freedom Conservative Party (FCP) but now feels joining the Alberta Party is the best fit for him at this time.
“Stephen (Mandel) as mayor of Edmonton has already shown the experience he has,” says Anglin. “You don’t have to agree with him politically but his management skills or managing a council, particularly that council, shows he has really good experience.”
Anglin says he wants to help broaden the Alberta Party’s appeal and perspective.
“The Alberta Party went really urban a few years back,” he explains. “But Stephen wants to broaden it and really include what I would call a pragmatic role voice and if he wants that, I want to bring it.”
Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel says he’s confident Anglin is the right person for the job.
“The Alberta Party has people from the former Progressive Conservative party, former Liberal Party, the current UCP and former NDP Party. We’re a place where we think there’s room in a fairly large tent for people. I don’t know Joe all that well but what I do know of him, he’s always been forthright with me.”
Anglin says he’s received a lot of encouragement from supporters to get back into the fray and chose to join an established party instead of Derek Fildebrandt’s FCP.
“He’s years away from building that party,” says Anglin. “I’m not against new parties starting up, good on them. You really need to think about the quality of people you vote for, no matter what party.”
Despite incumbent Nixon having strong support in the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding, Anglin says he knows Nixon better than most.
“I know what he’s done, and he’s not done a whole lot,” says Anglin. “If it becomes about character, good enough, we’ll make it about character. I know what he’s done in the past and I know what I’ve done.”
(Josh Hall, Sheldon Spackman, Troy Gillard)
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