Jason Kenney launches campaign for leadership of Alberta's UCP

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EDMONTON—Jason Kenney has made his bid for the leadership of Alberta’s new United Conservative Party official.

Kenney, who is a former federal cabinet minister and former leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives, made the announcement Saturday in Edmonton.

He joins former Wildrose leader Brian Jean, who is the only other officially declared candidate in the race, although conservative strategist Doug Schweitzer has expressed an intention to run.

The vote is to be held Oct. 28.

Read more: Alberta Wildrose, Progressive Conservatives to vote on proposed party merger

Members of the PC and Wildrose parties agreed to merge in votes that were held last weekend.

Kenney says a leader is needed who has “consistent conservative convictions,” who also has the political skills to unite the new party while reaching out to broaden its support.

“I know that I have those clear convictions. And I have been blessed with the right kind of experience, which I believe has given me the temperament needed for the huge challenge ahead,” Kenney said in a news release.

The United Conservative Party was recognized Tuesday as the official Opposition by the Speaker of the legislature, with interim leader Nathan Cooper at its helm.

Jean launched his own campaign Monday and has called for Albertans to get a vote on photo radar.

He has also promised to give voters the power to recall members of the legislature.

The UCP won’t become an official political party until papers are filed with Elections Alberta.