By Trevor Busch
Incumbent Grant Hunter and the United Conservative Party cruised to an easy victory in Taber-Warner on Monday evening, far outpacing his closest rivals at the polls to retain his position as MLA.
Hunter’s resounding victory saw him take in 75.3 per cent of the vote in Taber-Warner, or some 12,370 votes.
The provincial race saw the UCP secure a majority victory with 49 seats to the NDP’s 38. The UCP took in 52.6 per cent of the popular vote, with the NDP trailing at 44 per cent.
“I’m very grateful for the support constituents have shown me and you know, it’s gratifying to know that after serving them for eight years, they’re willing to give me another four years,” said Hunter, reached late on election night. “So I first of all want to thank the constituents for that. I also want to thank everybody who put their name forward to run, I know it’s not an easy thing. And you have to have some pretty, pretty thick skin when you want to put your name forward into politics.”
In the most recent 2019 provincial election, Hunter crushed his opponents taking in 78.1 per cent of the vote with the next closest candidate, the NDP’s Laura Ross-Giroux, trailing by a wide margin with 12.9 per cent.
“I look forward to being able to keep working on this agri-food processing corridor between Lethbridge and Medicine Hat,” continued Hunter. “This is going to be a life changer for so many down here. It’s going to be a big 10 to 20 years worth of GDP growth in this area. Lots of good businesses are gonna be started. And lots of new acres and irrigated land, and I just see this as being a really exciting time in the next 10 to 20 years out in this area.”
In a breakdown of the vote percentage for the other candidates, the closest was the NDP’s Jazminn Hintz with 17.1 per cent, followed by the Wildrose Loyalty Coalition’s Paul Hinman (4.6 per cent), the Green Party of Alberta’s Joel Hunt (1.5 per cent), the Solidarity Movement of Alberta’s Brent Ginther (0.7 per cent), and the Independence Party of Alberta’s Frank Kast (0.8 per cent).
Hunter was first elected in 2015 representing the now-defunct riding of Cardston-Taber-Warner as a member of the Wildrose Party and was re-elected to Taber-Warner in 2019 for the UCP. During the previous term in government, Hunter also served as Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction from April 2019 – July 2021.