Local MLA Peter Guthrie continues to be asked to run for the UCP leadership but says at this point there's only a slim chance he would throw his hat into the ring.

"I have had calls from constituents as well as from other individuals across the province," he says. "I've been giving it a lot of thought over the course of the last few weeks, but I would place the probability as low."

What's he particularly keen on is who does step forward.

"I'm looking forward to seeing their platforms and policies and I want to see how their team works together with them. I'm really excited and I think that we will see that positive feedback, that positive input."

Guthrie held an open house at his constituency office on June 3 and the leadership race was a popular topic.

"I think there's a lot of curious people inquiring who the candidates are going to be, what does that landscape look like, and they also talked about the future, positivity, and building trust."

He says since Jason Kenney announced he will be stepping down as party leader, the UCP is gaining in the polls.

"We've seen a six per cent increase in the polls, and I don't think we will look back. I think it will continue to grow as we move forward to the election next year."

Guthrie says the rules for the election will be firmed up soon and that could impact who runs.

"I think that's going to dictate some of the candidates coming forward as far as how much money is involved. That could limit the field somewhat but right now it looks like we're going to have anywhere from six to 10 people stepping forward."

Four candidates have made it official and some other names are circulating as potential candidates.

On the same day as the open house, UCP officials did clarify some of the rules for the leadership race.

Any individual who announces their intention by registering with Elections Alberta is not an official candidate in the leadership race until they have met the requirements set by the party’s leadership election committee (LEC). The rules and procedures for the race are currently being developed and are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.

The Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act requires any person who intends to seek the leadership of a registered party to apply with the Chief Electoral Officer when they announce their intention to run. This must be done to raise and spend funds regardless of whether the individual has met the registered party’s requirements to participate in the contest.

The UCP's governance manual provides some basic rules. A candidate must have been a member of the party for at least six months, submit an entrance fee and application provided by the LEC, and deliver a nomination petition signed by at least 500 members. 

Open house 2