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Starke asking constituents about leadership run

Richard Starke wants to know if he should run for the leadership of his party.

Speaking to the Lloydminster Rotary Club at noon on Monday, the MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster touched on multiple areas. The address was aimed at providing on provincial affairs from his viewpoint.

Topics such as the litigation between the provincial government and power companies in Alberta and the decision of the government to bring up the idea of taxpayer support for political campaigns arose, and Starke outlined why he disagreed with the actions taken. However, the address also contained points about the ongoing leadership race for the Progressive Conservative party.

Starke has not yet said a clear yes or no to whether or not he would pursue the position, but he did extend an invitation to the gathered Rotarians to give him their input on the decision, and spoke with several attendees after the meeting ended.

“You might as well be out and be very forthright about it,” said Starke.

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“If it’s something you’re considering, let people know, and I also want to make sure that I know clearly, from constituents here, that they support that. One of the last things you can have is a situation where you don’t have support in your home constituency. That doesn’t help you at all.”

Speaking with the press , Starke said the process of gauging support for a leadership run is ongoing. He also said he has made the same pitch for constituent input across the riding.

“You get into a room, and sometimes it’s a relatively small room, sometimes it’s a larger room,” said Starke.

“You get into groups of people and you ask that question, it’s been lots of places.”

Starke also touched on the possibility of a merger between the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose during his address, an idea which is currently being pushed by Jason Kenney, who is seeking the leadership of the PCs. Starke, who has outlined his lack of support for a merger in the past, said members of both parties have told him they do not want a merger.

He also said he wants Kenney to give him a call.

“I’d like him to call me,” said Starke.

“He hasn’t done that, and if he aspires to lead our caucus, it would sure be nice to have a conversation with him. I’ve met Mr. Kenney, I met him three years ago, but haven’t had a conversation with him since, and that’s fine, that’s his choice. We have a leadership to go through, and as I said earlier, we’re going to be talking about our vision for the party, which is very important. My vision for the party is to rebuild it.”

It remains to be seen whether or not Starke will launch an official bid for the leadership of the party.

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