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Nominations update for February

More candidates are in place for this fall’s Saskatchewan provincial election, while several contested nominations are still under way.
The nomination races for seats in the Legislative Assembly remains a hot one.

REGINA - Nominations are still ongoing as Saskatchewan's political parties look to build their slates of candidates for the 2024 provincial election. 

Both the Saskatchewan Party and the New Democratic Party have over half of their candidates nominated by this point, but more nominations have been scheduled. Also, there have been some new recent developments about sitting MLAs who are not running again.

Saskatchewan Party cabinet ministers not running

The major news over the past number of weeks was word that several prominent Saskatchewan Party MLAs and cabinet ministers are not seeking re-election.

The big news was the confirmation of the departures of incumbent Ministers Donna Harpauer in Humboldt-Watrous, Dustin Duncan in Weyburn-Big Muddy, Gord Wyant in Saskatoon Northwest, and Don McMorris in Indian Head-Milestone.

McMorris’s riding is taking on new boundaries and is being renamed White City-Qu’Appelle, and already there is word that at least one candidate has expressed interest: Brad Crassweller, a local RM of Sherwood councillor. The nomination meeting is not yet scheduled. 

Meanwhile, news of Wyant's departure has thrown open the Sask Party nomination in Saskatoon Chief Mistawasis, where he had been nominated to run again last fall. A new nomination meeting will need to be scheduled.

Grewal not running in Regina Northeast

There has been late word that one more Sask Party incumbent, Regina Northeast MLA Gary Grewal, who had been the subject of headlines of late due to the Sunrise Motel billing controversy, is also not seeking re-election.

Earlier it had been confirmed that Rahul Singh was seeking the nomination in Regina Northeast at a nomination meeting scheduled for March 15. That raised the possibility Grewal would face a nomination challenge, with many thinking the first term MLA planned to run again.

Instead, in a statement released Friday afternoon Grewal confirmed he would not run, saying in a news release "it has been an honour to serve Regina Northeast for the past four years" as MLA.

More Sask Party nominations

There has been confirmation that at least one sitting cabinet minister whose future was up in the air is indeed seeking re-election for another term. Regina Rochdale MLA and Minister for Parks Culture and Sport Laura Ross was officially nominated to run again on Feb. 15.

As expected, Blaine McLeod was acclaimed Jan. 29 to seek re-election in Lumsden-Morse, the same seat where he won the byelection last year to replace Lyle Stewart. The expectation is that Jon Hromek will run again there for the Sask United Party although that is not yet confirmed.

The newly-created Regina South Albert riding will see Khushdil (Lucky) Mehrok running as the Saskatchewan Party nominee; he defeated Nadeem Islam in a contested nomination vote on Jan. 25. The winner faces incumbent MLA Aleana Young who is running for the NDP; the new riding contains a large portion of her former Regina University seat.

In Moose Jaw Wakamow, Megan Patterson was acclaimed to be the Sask Party candidate in Moose Jaw. The seat is currently held by Greg Lawrence who had not been seeking re-election prior to the nomination meeting; more recently, he has left the Sask Party caucus after being arrested for assault and choking charges.

On Feb. 5, Darlene Rowden defeated Patricia Wintringham to win the nomination in Batoche, where she is seeking to take over from Delbert Kirsch.

As for upcoming nominations, the date for the nomination meeting in Martensville-Blairmore is March 27. Seeking the nomination there are Martensville deputy mayor Jamie Martens, Sunny Kals and M.S. Gill.

The Saskatchewan Party has set March 11 as the date for the nomination meeting in Cut Knife-Turtleford, where former Sask Party president James Thorsteinson is currently seeking the nomination. Ryan Domotor currently holds the seat, but he was removed from the Saskatchewan Party caucus and stripped of the nomination after a criminal charge against him last fall for procuring sexual services. Domotor’s charge was stayed in court on Feb. 1, following his completion of alternative measures.

The nomination in Saskatoon University-Sutherland is set for March 26, with Ghislaine McLeod and Dale Hryniuk seeking that contested nomination.

Regina Coronation Park has scheduled its nomination meeting for March 19.

The nomination in Yorkton is a contested one with candidates David Chan, Kaitlyn Kitzan and local councillor Darcy Zaharia in the race. That nomination is set for March 7 at Painted Hand Casino with the winner seeking to retain the seat held by Greg Ottenbreit, who is not seeking re-election.

A nomination date has not been set yet in Saskatoon Meewasin but Maureen Alice Torr has announced this month that she is seeking the Sask Party nomination. The seat was won in a 2022 byelection by the NDP’s Nathaniel Teed who is seeking re-election.

The date for the nomination meeting in Saskatoon Southeast has not been set but the race there is heating up to replace Don Morgan, with several candidates expected to run. Among the candidates already declared is Dr. John Owojori, who had previously been seeking the nomination in University-Sutherland. Henry Chan has joined the race as well, as has Mubarak Syed. Syed’s candidacy had raised some eyebrows of late as he was recently appointed to serve on the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission; he is currently on leave from that role while seeking the nomination. 

New Democrat nominations

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the NDP in recent weeks was word that a potential star candidate is definitely not running. Charlie Clark announced he is not seeking re-election as Mayor of Saskatoon and at that same news conference also confirmed he is not seeking provincial or federal office, either.

The NDP have put in place a number of candidates in the past several months and have added one more in recent weeks: Cheantelle Fisher has been officially nominated in Moose Jaw North to against the incumbent Sask. Party MLA and Minister of Rural and Remote Health Tim McLeod.

Two hotly contested NDP nominations are set to be decided next week. A contested nomination meeting is scheduled in Riversdale on Feb. 26 with Ashlee Hicks, Kim Breckner and Treena Wynes running for the nomination; Hicks had been the nominee in 2020. The seat is considered a major NDP target in the next election, with the winner is to take on Marv Friesen, the Sask Party incumbent.

In Saskatoon Willowgrove, Alana Wakula and Shawn Bennett are each seeking the nomination in a seat long held by Sask Party MLA Ken Cheveldayoff. That nomination meeting takes place Feb. 27.

The NDP is set to hold its nomination in Batoche on March 17 with Trina Miller seeking the nomination there.

The other news is that the NDP have officially scheduled March 21 for the much-anticipated contested nomination in Regina University, where the candidates are Sally Housser, Deb Nyczai and Reid Hill. The winner goes up against Sask Party incumbent Gene Makowsky in the provincial election.

Other parties:

There is still no word yet on nominations for the Saskatchewan United Party, however there seems little doubt that Saskatchewan Rivers MLA and party leader Nadine Wilson will seek re-election in her seat. Wilson held a fundraising dinner in Prince Albert this past weekend.

The Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan had previously announced Michelle Krieger was nominated to run in Cannington and now have confirmed another candidate nomination: party leader Philip Zajac is running in the newly-renamed Estevan-Big Muddy riding. The seat is currently held by the Sask Party minister of highways Lori Carr.