Lloydminster's Rosemarie Falk was declared the big winner in the Conservative Party nomination race for Battlefords-Lloydminster Saturday.
Falk was nearly speechless when she heard the news she will vie to take over the seat held by longtime Tory stalwart MP Gerry Ritz after he announced his retirement from politics in August.
"It's an honour for me to be standing here today," she told members in her acceptance speech. "I have many people who believe in me, many people who believe in what I stand for and the principles I hold."
Nearly 200 Conservative Party members attended the nomination meeting at the Tropical Inn in North Battleford for the party to select who will represent them for the Dec. 11 byelection.
Falk, a former legislative assistant for MP Arnold Viersen, beat fellow nominees John Hildebrand, Aron Klassen, Bernie Morton, and Richard Nelson.
Among her concerns, Falk said she is opposed to the carbon tax and feels strongly about "standing up for families" and for "religious freedom." Falk said members voted for a “young principled woman who has a family to represent them on the byelection ballot.”
"The people have spoken," she said. "They think that I am able and that I have some experience and will be a strong voice for them in Ottawa.”
Falk, 29, is a trained social worker and also has experience on Parliament Hill.
"Being a social worker has made me more Conservative," she added. "I see how we need strong families. They are going to help society, and help our nation.”
Falk will now gear up for the byelection.
"I’m assuming we'll start hitting the doors on Monday," she said. "We've lost seven days in that writ. We need to catch up and show Justin Trudeau we have strong Conservative support here."
Ritz was pleased to see a high turnout for the nomination and said leaving his position has been bittersweet, but after serving 20 years in federal politics he knew it was time to retire.
He was pleased to see Falk selected as the candidate.
"I think Rosemarie will do an excellent job. She had been a staffer in Ottawa to get a sense of it before she committed to doing this," he said, making note Falk was on his electoral district association board for the last two years.
"She will be great," Ritz added. "She brings enthusiasm. She outlined her six priorities that are certainly top of mind for most people here. I think she'll do well."
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