Stephanie Kusie may have lost in her municipal campaign of 2013 for Ward 12, but now she’ll take over the federal stronghold of Calgary-Midnapore in Parliament.
The Conservative candidate unsurprisingly cruised to victory Monday night, winning 77 per cent of the vote as of 10:30 p.m.
Walking in to her campaign office with her husband and son, she said she was deeply humbled.
“The privilege that has been bestowed upon me comes with great responsibility and I would like all of the constituents of Calgary-Midnapore to know that I am here for you,” she said.
The former diplomat and executive director of Common Sense Calgary takes over the seat vacated by Jason Kenney, who first took it in 1997 and resigned last year to run for the Progressive Conservatives on the provincial level.
When asked if she’d try to pursue more than a backbencher role, she said for now she’s humbled to be an MP.
“I’m just looking forward to going to Ottawa and starting to work on behalf of the constituents,” Kusie said.
The Liberals weren’t expected to win either Calgary riding, but they did take 23 per cent of the vote last time around and as of 10:30 p.m., candidate Haley Brown had just 17 per cent.
Kusie said it’s a clear message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“There are many people who are dissatisfied with the increased taxation of the Liberal government, most particularly, the carbon tax,” she said.
Calgary-Heritage candidate Bob Benzen takes over the riding held by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and young Kusie supporter Tyler Van Vleit likes the new blood.
“I think it really revitalizes things,” he said. “Stephanie can be a strong role model for a lot of young women in the city and showing that anything’s possible.”
Fellow Kusie supporter Kate Smolarek said she hopes the local voice will be heard.
“I’ve been watching some of Parliament on TV and I’m not happy with the way things are going with Justin Trudeau,” she said. “I think he’s taking liberties and we need strong supporters to speak up for us on behalf of the people.”