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UCP’s Roger Reid carries Livingstone-Macleod

After being elected in Livingstone-macleod, United Conservative Party candidate Roger Reid gets a hug from a supporter.

Roger Reid (right) shares a moment with his father Gerry at a United Conservative Party gathering Tuesday night.

Livingstone-Macleod stayed true to its conservative roots Tuesday and elected Roger Reid as its new MLA. Reid, the first time United Conservative Party candidate, received 16.284 votes to win the riding going away. “The good news is the sun has set on a government that has ignored Albertans for four years,” Reid told supporters at Putters Restaurant at Claresholm. New Democrat Cam Gardner earned 4,759 votes, followed by the Alberta Party’s Tim Meech with 1,159. Meech, who is from Fort Macleod, was pleased his party increased its share of the vote and with his own performance in the campaign. “We did the best that we could,” Meech said in a telephone interview. “We got the Alberta Party brand out there.” The results were encouraging enough that Meech is thinking ahead to the next election. “My team and I have plans,” Meech said. Alberta Independence Party candidate Vern Sparkes received 395 votes, with Liberal Dylin Hauser attracting 245 and the Green Party’s Wendy Pergentile netting 230. In an interview following his speech to supporters Reid said one of the keys to his success was hitting the road and listening to people across the riding. “I’m happy to say I worked hard,” Reid said. “I think in the past conservatives have maybe taken us for granted in this corner of Alberta, and so when I decided to run I wanted to work hard and really earn the votes.” People in Livingstone-Macleod had concerns about jobs and the economy. Small businesses are struggling and farms and ranches are hard-pressed to deal with increased operating costs. Reid said the UCP has a plan to get Albertans back to work that includes business tax cuts and support of the beleaguered energy industry. One of the first tasks when the Legislature sits, likely sometime next month, is to get rid of the carbon tax. “The first thing for us is getting the economy back on track as quick as we can,” Reid said. Reid said one of the keys to his party’s success across the province was staying on message. “I’m very proud that consistently a party we’ve stayed on message in terms of talking about the real issues and our solutions for Alberta,” Reid said. “Jason Kenney has taken that lead in terms of how he’s handled his campaign and we’ve all tried to do the same thing.” Reid, who was born and raised at Claresholm where he owns a business, is looking forward to serving as an MLA. And he’s hopeful the acrimony of the election campaign will be put to rest. “It’s the role of opposition to hold the government accountable but at the end of the day we need to be working for the same goal and that’s to make Alberta awesome.