We are a week away from the UCP nomination vote and we thought we would do one more interview with each candidate vying to represent the Airdrie- Cochrane riding for the United Conservative Party.
Morgan Nagel has a lengthy history of being involved in politics on a local level but says he is ready to make the transition from local town councillor to representing Airdrie-Cochrane on a provincial scale.
Although he has only been campaigning as a UCP candidate for nine months, Nagel says he has really been preparing for the job over the past nine years. Firstly campaigning to reclaim his seat on the municipal council, Nagel has certainly knocked on his share of doors. "Visiting over 10,000 homes has been an incredible exercise in personal discipline, but the benefit at the end of it is I really, really feel connected to the pulse of our community. I feel confident that I have a good grasp on where people are standing on the issues."
While some may have criticized Nagel initially for choosing to run in the provincial race after recently being elected as a municipal representative, he says many people have come around. "In the debates last week, some of my colleagues that were up there want to spin my political experience as a reason why I shouldn't be running but I actually think that my political experience and the fact that I am a proven local political leader is my number one strength and that it's not a weakness."
Nagel shares he has a wide array of political experience that spans all levels of government. "I have worked in all three levels of government already. Two terms here on Cochrane town council as municipal. Provincially, I worked full time for Jason Kenney I helped him build the party from day one and I also worked with the federal Conservatives on Parliament Hill. I also have a very applicable education with a degree in Economics. I just really think I have got the knowledge, talent, and skills needed to hit the ground running on day one."
While some Airdrie-Cochrane UCP candidates are quite vocal on improving social services, Nagel says it really comes down to economics. "When it comes to infrastructure and other services it does come down to the financial element. I know people say it may be a shallow viewpoint but I don't think it is. A report just came out that Albertans in three years time will have 100 billion dollars in debt and in thirty years time, we're going to have a trillion dollars in debt. So we really need to get our spending under control or we're not going to be able to afford any of the public services we have today. I know lots of people want to talk about improving health care, improving education but honestly, I, would rather have subpar services today then no services tomorrow."
Also, a proud defender of personal freedom Nagel is a supporter of both the LGBTQ2S+ community as well as families devout in the Christian faith.
If elected, Nagel, says he will continue his push for improved infrastructure. "When the NDP formed the government in 2015, I immediately sent a letter to our MLA and Premier about the importance of our local traffic projects. If I become MLA, my first order of business will be to write a very similar letter to the Premier, explaining why funding for that project must be protected. I can't promise the Premier will build it, but I can promise to make a very good case for it."
Hoping, of course, to come out on top of the race, Nagel says he has learned a lot over the years. "It has been quite a rewarding experience and I am hoping for the best, come the end of it. One way or the other, win or lose, I don't think I could ever give up politics. I am going to be here no matter what, just depends if it's as a councillor or MLA."
There are two dates set for Airdrie-Cochrane UCP members to cast their vote and those are as follows (you can vote at either):
Airdrie Polling Station, October 18th from 12 pm to 8 pm at the Goldenrod Community Hall
Cochrane Polling Station, October 20th from 9 am to 5 pm at the Cochrane RancheHouse
Giving the last word to Morgan Nagel, he wants the Cochrane community to know he has no plans of abandoning our great town. "I am going to continue being a member of our community and it's not that Cochrane would be losing my voice if I am nominated but instead they would be empowering my voice so I can stand up for Cochrane's issues not just in the RancheHouse but also in the Alberta Legislature."