With Alberta’s governing PC party looking to lock up all nomination meetings by the end of March, Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke has announced that he will indeed be seeking a second term when an election is called.
Starke, who spoke with the Lloydminster Source last week, said that the work of an MLA is never done, and he will be running for a second term to complete work that he has started.
“I feel as though I have learned a lot in the last three years, and I feel as though I have become a better representative in that time as well,” he said.
“There is definitely a learning curve and I think that I would be much more effective in the position in a second term.”
Starke said that he has enjoyed the position of MLA and hopes to continue it on, as the party and the local riding association begin to look at potential dates for the nomination meeting.
“It’s challenging and we do have challenging times ahead of us, but I am truly enjoying it,” Starke said.
Looking back on his three years in office so far, Starke said that he doesn’t really think that you ever really accomplish what you try and accomplish when getting into politics. “I think my main goal, in seeking elected office, was to be an effective representative on behalf of the people. I think that I have started that process, but I do not believe I have finished that process,” he said.
Asked what he hopes to accomplish in the, potentially, year left until the next general election, Starke said that in the very short term he hopes to finish the rural health review that Health Minister Stephen Mandel tasked him to finish, back in November 2014.
“I was charged with that rural health review by Minister Mandel in late 2014, but I also want to continue to work on a number of issues in the constituency with regards to transportation, with regards to support for Lakeland College,” he said.
He added that a major issue that he deals with on a regular basis is long-term care in the community.
“Whether that care is in a long-term care institution where we have needs or whether the care occurs in a home environment,” Starke said.
Not putting the cart before the horse, Starke said while he is not the official candidate for the next general election under the PC banner, he will work hard to win the nomination when called.
“Initially the members of the party have the right to decide if I’m the best person to be the nominee, and of course If I am fortunate to win the nomination we will go into an election at some point between now and April 2016 the people of Vermilion-Lloydminster have a decision to make,” he said.
“As to what I bring to the table, it’s the same thing that I offered to the people of Vermilion-Lloydminster 3 years ago in 2012 when I first ran,” Starke added. “A sense of community and a strong record of public service, and strong integrity, and a really strong understanding that your elected to serve the people.”
Starke went as far as saying he has never worked as hard as he has done in the last three years.
“I will tell you, I worked harder in the last three years, then I have ever worked in a three year period in my life,” Starke said.
With a Premier Prentice not willing to say if an election would be held in the spring of 2015, many pundits suspect that with the recent nomination opening for the party, the governing PC Party is gearing up for a general election sometime in 2015 of spring.