This is hard, I'm conflicted and not happy to be writing this.
Bob Hawkesworth has thrown his hat into the ring for the Foothills by-election to replace Jim Prentice who took his ball and slunk home on election night resigning his seat before the votes that won it for him were even counted.
Bob is a stellar candidate, experienced, skilled and a great potential addition to Alberta's NDP government. He kept the NDP fires burning in Calgary during some dark years and I'd be glad to see him in government now that the party is in ascendency.
He had the chance to run in the general. He could have put himself out there, back in the startlingly recent days when running as a New Democrat in Calgary was quixotic at best. He didn't. Anne Wilson did.
Anne Wilson is a criminal lawyer specializing in legal aid cases who put her life on hold to make a kamikaze run against the leader of the mighty PC dynasty in Calgary Foothills in order to bring attention to starved social services in Alberta. While Bob sat the General out, she was campaigning hard against the leader of the PCs. And ultimately came within a few thousand votes of beating him as the orange wave crushed the Progressive Conservative Party.
Lots of commentators recognize that between the wave, the government's honeymoon and lingering anger at Prentice's punk move on election night Calgary Foothills is an extremely likely pickup for the NDP in the coming by-election.
And now, Bob Hawkesworth has thrown his hat in the ring.
And as much as I like him, as much as I think he'd make a great candidate and a great MLA that offends my sense of justice.
Anne Wilson put herself out there, she knocked on doors and put up signs and committed months of her life to give the NDP a voice in a riding that was an all but guaranteed PC win. Bob sat the General out, there no shame in that, he's put himself on the line in a lot of elections and won some and lost some, he was in fact the guy who beat Jim Prentice the first time he ever ran for office decades ago. He had every right in the world to take a break from campaigning, maybe he was saving himself for the federal race or had family considerations or just didn't want to expend the energy on an all but guaranteed loss.
But Anne Wilson did.
She put her life on hold she campaigned hard and she came within a few thousand votes of defeating the leader of the PCs in the party's stronghold.
And now Bob Hawkesworth wants to, forgive the hyperbole, swoop in and benefit from the orange wave that Anne Wilson along with all the other NDP candidates helped create in the general.
Once again, Bob is awesome, he's a great guy, he'd make a great candidate, a great MLA and probably with his long experience a great cabinet minister.
But pushing aside the woman who put the work in during the general now that the byelection is a much better bet for an NDP candidate leaves a bad taste in my mouth.