Former City councilor seeks Tory nomination

  • Feb. 25, 2015 4:12 p.m.

Former Red Deer City Councilor Jeff Dawson announced recently he will be seeking the nomination for the PC Association of Alberta for Red Deer North in the upcoming run for MLA.

“With recent changes in the economy, Red Deerians and Albertans are facing challenging times,” explained Dawson. “My vision for this constituency is to ensure that we are not forgotten at the provincial table, and to ensure that all caucus members understand the pressing concerns of this area. Mary Anne Jablonski left big shoes to fill.”

With the support of Red Deer North, Dawson said he hopes to stretch those shoes just a bit further and provide the exceptional representation this constituency deserves.

Dawson spent 12 years and four terms on Red Deer’s City council, which he believes has prepared him well for the role of MLA.

“Council is very diverse and although it is non-partisan politics there are certainly people on council with conservative, liberal, and NDP mindsets so it gave me a chance to learn to work beside and effectively with many different mindsets,” said Dawson, adding his time spent on the steering committee which designed and built the Collicutt Centre has allowed him to see his work be put to good use already.

“As a member of the Collicutt Centre now, when I go there it always amazes me how well and to amount that it is used – it is used so much more than those of us on the committee ever dreamed it would be and in such vibrant community-enriching ways.”

Dawson’s time on council also allowed him to be a part of major renovations to other recreation facilities, and several police and emergency services stations, to which he said gave him a better grasp of the broader picture in municipal governance and local issues.

He explained his love of politics came to him at the age of 16, stating he knew from this age that he wished to pursue a career in politics.

“I knew from a young age that I wanted to get involved in politics but I just didn’t know where or when,” said Dawson. “I started having this fierce desire to be involved in it so I began doing my research and all of the politicians I researched were in their 40s so I thought that if I was going to do it I would have to wait until I was 40.

“But by my early 20s I figured I had waited long enough so I decided to run for City council and ended up serving 12 years.”

While Dawson never had extensive plans originally to run for MLA or the PC nomination, after the retirement of former Red Deer North MLA Jablonski, he said his phone was flooded with calls from those asking when he would be making his announcement to run and people asking if he planned to run in general.

“Mary Anne made her announcement on a Monday and by Tuesday I was getting phone calls asking if I was going to run, and by Wednesday I was seriously considering it at that point,” said Dawson.

“After talking with close friends, family, and a few people I really trust it just seemed as though the timing was right.

“I was starting to get that burning feeling in my stomach, the kind you get when something feels right so I said to myself, ‘Let’s do it’.”