Sask. Party supporters choose battle-tested Moose Jaw North candidate

Justin Crann
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Incumbent MLA Michelson will seek re-election

"Thank God, I can breathe again."

Warren Michelson hugs one of his supporters after he was declared the Saskatchewan Party's nominee for the upcoming provincial election on Wednesday night. Michelson, the incumbent MLA, will seek a third term.

Those were the words of a Warren Michelson supporter when he was declared the winner of a month-long nomination race for Moose Jaw North.

Michelson was running a contested bid for the Saskatchewan Party nomination. 

His opponent was Shelley Jones, a former Moose Jaw Citizen of the Year and co-chair of the Multiplex Fundraising Committee.

The pair exchanged statements at a nomination meeting at the Heritage Inn on Wednesday night.

Michelson focused his campaign on his experience as an incumbent MLA twice elected to represent the riding, his record in Moose Jaw North as the representative at the table when the new hospital and Mosaic Place were announced, and his defeat of established MLA Glenn Hagel in 2007.

Jones sought to appeal to women, anti-abortionists and the agriculture industry during her speech, while also highlighting her role as a volunteer and fundraiser on many of the municipal projects Michelson mentioned.

Following the announcement of his victory and between hugs and handshakes with his supporters, Michelson said he wasn't expecting to have to "run a campaign between elections," but the hard work of his dedicated team paid off.

"We hustled right from the get-go. We knew if we could get our people involved — and we did, because they came out and supported us — we would win," he told the Times-Herald.

For her part, Michelson's rival was suspicious about the amount of supporters he was able to bring to bear.

Jones said she saw faces at the event that she hadn't seen at other Sask. Party gatherings.

"When you sell that many memberships, there's going to be a lot of new faces in the crowd," she elaborated. "I (also) noticed a few faces from other political parties here, and there's a little agenda afoot there, too, that I think we need to be cognizant of."

In his speech accepting the nomination, Michelson made it clear he is cognizant of other parties' agendas.

"The NDP are looking at this as a target seat," he said. "We will need all of our people to come out, give us a hand, and help make sure the Saskatchewan Party stays strong in Moose Jaw North and in the province."

You can follow Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Sask. Party, Saskatchewan Party, Multiplex Fundraising Committee Heritage Inn Times-Herald NDP

Geographic location: Moose Jaw North

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