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Speaker Weekes toppled by Kim Gartner in Kindersley-Biggar

Gartner wins Sask Party nomination over incumbent Speaker of the House in major political news for Saskatchewan.
Kim Gartner is nominated to run in Kindersley-Biggar in the next provincial election.

KINDERSLEY - In a major upset, the current Speaker of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly has lost his nomination bid for the Sask Party.

Speaker Randy Weekes was defeated Thursday by Kim Gartner for the Sask Party nomination in Kindersley-Biggar. Gartner is a town administrator from Macklin, and a long-serving current school board trustee and former vice-chair for Living Sky School Division.

A factor that played a significant role in the end result is that Kindersley-Biggar is a new riding with redrawn boundaries to include much of the old Kindersley riding and a portion of the old Biggar-Saskatchewan Valley riding.

Weekes had represented Biggar-Saskatchewan Valley but lost much of the rural area in his old riding to electoral boundary redistribution, forcing him to seek the nomination in what essentially was a brand new riding.

Gartner, meanwhile, has deep connections in the western portion of the new riding. As for the incumbent for Kindersley, Ken Francis, he had earlier announced he would not run again.

Weekes is the second incumbent Sask Party MLA to lose his fight for renomination, following the defeat earlier this fall of incumbent Terry Dennis in a contested Canora-Pelly Sask Party nomination to Sean Wilson.

Of the other incumbents who faced nomination challenges in 2023, Terry Jenson, ended up winning a contested nomination in the new riding of Warman, while Colleen Young in Lloydminster was acclaimed after her challenger withdrew to run elsewhere. Another incumbent who faced a declared challenger, Greg Lawrence in Moose Jaw-Wakamow, opted instead to not seek re-election.