Election hopeful, Todd Pawsey, was recently disqualified from competing for the United Conservative Party (UCP) Drumheller-Stettler MLA candidacy.
This decision comes less than a day before UCP members were expected to hit the polls to elect who they felt was the best choice for the job.
The provincial UCP Party explained that this decision was made after the provincial nominations committee found ‘inappropriate’ social media postings from Pawsey that could jeopardize the integrity of the party.
“I can confirm that he was disqualified by the nominations committee [for] inappropriate social media postings that could create serious reputational harm to the party,” said UCP Executive Director Janice Harrington.
“The leader has been very clear that disqualifications and vetting is a part of the process regardless of where they are in the process. It’s unfortunate, of course, about the timing but the process is what the process is,” she said.
Pawsey published a lengthy posting on his individual candidate page regarding the disqualification late last evening, Wed. Sept. 26.
“Earlier this week, myself and my integrity and that of my employer were complained against to head office by another candidate’s campaign team… to which we, (Myself and the County), responded and not only survived but laid to rest unfounded and without merit ‘below the belt’ personal attacks. Having survived that, I looked forward to completing the mission I set out on back in the spring.”
The ex-candidate said that further complaints were then lodged against his candidacy again, only this time due to accusations of inappropriate Facebook posts.
“In the letter from head office, it stated that the Leader Kenney wanted to weed out those who had ‘bozo eruptions’ or fostered hate speech… reminiscent of the famous 2012 ‘Lake of Fire’ comments that the Wild Rose had made.”
He defended his name stating, “Well those of you who know me, know full well that I am not capable of either, and had ran an ethical and honest campaign and stayed positive and respectful to my opponents. Welcome to politics. I brought respect to a knife fight.”
Pawsey claimed a voicemail was left on his phone as there was an appeal process which he appealed to the executive director. The executive director then held a board teleconference on Wednesday evening, which Pawsey was told the board would not hear his appeal.
No comments were provided on Pawsey’s Facebook posting as Harrington explained in an interview with the ECA Review she had not read them.
The Facebook post made by Pawsey continued by saying a similar situation had happened to a candidate of the Ponoka-Bashaw Riding.
“A few weeks back, there was a fresh challenger female candidate in Ponoka-Bashaw that was leading the race there against another incumbent MLA who was losing the race, and 10 days before that vote, she was DQ’d [disqualified] for ‘inappropriate fb [Facebook] comments’. Do we see a pattern here?”
With his nomination cleared from ballots across the Drumheller-Stettler Constituency, Pawsey made clear who he would be voting for come May 2019.
“This does not seem to be a grassroots party as the top down protection offered to trailing incumbents is taking the vote out of the hands of the members! I don’t know where my party allegiance will roost next May in the provincial election but I do know this: There are two names left on the ballot for this constituency nomination…. and the only one whose campaign has not stooped to incredulous levels of disrespectful and distasteful behaviours throughout is Nate Horner and he now has my full complete and unwavering support as the candidate we need to support! See you Saturday in Hanna.”
Elections began earlier today, Thurs. Sept. 27, in Provost.