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Greg Ottenbreit, Ken Francis not running again for Sask Party

Departure of Yorkton and Kindersley MLAs is confirmed by Sask Party; party also announces nomination dates for several MLAs seeking re-election.

REGINA - Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit and Kindersley MLA Ken Francis are not seeking re-election, the Sask. Party has confirmed. 

In a news release Monday, the party also states that nomination dates have been set for 11 ridings including ten where the sitting Sask Party MLA is seeking re-election in 2024. Several of those seeking re-election are cabinet ministers.

Those nomination dates are as follows: June 19 for Lisa Lambert in Saskatoon Churchill-Wildwood, June 21 in Regina Pasqua for Muhammad Fiaz, June 26 in Meadow Lake for Jeremy Harrison, June 28 in Estevan-Big Muddy for Lori Carr,  July 4 in Cut Knife Turtleford for Ryan Domotor,  July 10 in Saskatoon Stonebridge for Bronwyn Eyre, July 12 in Moosomin-Montmartre for Steven Bonk, July 24 in Saskatoon Willowgrove for Ken Cheveldayoff, July 26 in Prince Albert-Northcote for Alana Ross, and August 1 in Regina Wascana Plains for Christine Tell.

Also scheduled is July 5 in Saskatchewan Rivers, held by former Sask Party MLA turned leader of the Sask. United Party Nadine Wilson.

The party states several more nominations will be set in the coming weeks as well. Previously, Premier Scott Moe was re-nominated to run for re-election again in Rosthern-Shellbrook.

In a statement released Monday, Moe thanked Ottenbreit and Francis for their years of service.

“Greg and Ken have both been an important part of our government and our Saskatchewan party team and they will be missed,” said Moe. “At the same time I’m excited about the MLAs we will be running again in 2024, and I know we will have a strong mix of experience veterans and new faces representing the Saskatchewan party in the 2024 provincial election.”

Ottenbreit leaves in 2024, after having served since 2007 as MLA for Yorkton. He has served in cabinet as Minister of Highways and Minister of Rural and Remote Health, and currently is the Government Whip.

In the party's news release Ottenbreit said: “It has been an absolute honour to serve the people of the Yorkton area and province over the years, as well as to serve under the amazing leadership of the former premier Brad Wall and premier Scott Moe. Although I know I will deeply miss many things of this journey in my life especially all my friends and colleagues, I am excited to find out what is next!”

In a further statement released by Ottenbreit on Twitter, he said he had made the decision when he first was nominated back in 2005 to serve a maximum of four terms of elected. He also said he did consider not running in 2020 after going through cancer treatment, but "wanted to keep the momentum going for a new hospital for Yorkton."

"With the Premier's public comments over the last months of our government's commitment along with its placement and mention behind Prince Albert and Weyburn facilities in the last budget speech, I am confident on the hospital progressing through the planning and construction process...

"I will continue to do my best in my capacity as Yorkton MLA until the next election, and THANKYOU to all those who have given me this opportunity and your trust over the years!"

Francis leaves after being first elected in a 2018 by-election, and was re-elected in the 2020 general election. His roles included as Deputy Caucus Chair and Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Trade and Export Development. It was known Francis faced a potential nomination showdown situation against current Speaker Randy Weekes due to boundary changes coming into effect for 2024, but he has instead opted to bow out.

“I want to thank the good folks of Kindersley for the opportunity. I’m so proud to represent them and to work with our fantastic Saskatchewan Party team led by Premier Moe," said Francis in a statement.