Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie has endorsed town council candidate Bruce Townley and school trustee candidate Simon Ongom for the upcoming Oct. 18 election.

Guthrie speaks highly of both candidates and believes they have much to offer Cochrane residents.

"It's experience-based, and when you look at both Bruce and Simon, they have impressive backgrounds."

He says he's come to know Townley and admires how he frequently visited Cochrane from Ontario and was determined to retire here.

"Thirty years experience in policing, holding all sorts of different roles, and senior roles, I think that's the kind of character and experience that our council could use. I think the residents of Cochrane will benefit from his lifelong experience and public service."

Guthrie believes the RVS board of trustees could benefit from the financial knowledge of Ongom, who is an accountant. He says Ongom is a family man who has been through a lot in the course of his life and immigrated here from Uganda.

"I think his background in accounting is something the Rocky View school system could really use. It's a very tough board to manage, and I think that kind of experience to be able to analyze, look at the data, look at the numbers, be able to be critical where necessary, and also find savings is the kind of eye we need."

Guthrie says neither candidate sought his endorsement and that he felt strongly enough to approach them.

"I was quite honoured and humbled that somebody with his stature in the community would take it upon himself to reach out to me and offer his endorsement," says Townley.

He says he's come to know Guthrie and respects him. He points to how Guthrie took a stand against the Premier's office. In September, Guthrie apologized to residents for the province going back on its word by imposing more COVID restrictions.

"It took a lot of wherewithal for him to stand up for what he felt was right and I respect elected officials that stand up for what they believe in. That spoke volumes to me about his character, his position, and how much he really cares about our community."

Likewise, Ongom appreciates the MLA's endorsement.

"I believe that he has seen my platform and he definitely understands where I'm coming from," says Ongom.

"Peter Guthrie has worked tirelessly for our community in so many aspects, and he is one person who believes in education and believes strongly that we need to sit down together and come up with solutions that will meet our needs today and at the same time prepare us for the future."

October 18th is election day.