Stephen Mandel steps down as Alberta Party leader

After 15 months on the job, and his party failing to win a single seat in the provincial election, Stephen Mandel is stepping down as leader of the Alberta Party.

The former Edmonton mayor will focus on his role as chancellor at Concordia University, the party said in a news release on Friday. 

Even though Mandel was unable to win a seat in Edmonton-McClung and his party was entirely shut out of the legislature in May’s election, the party lauded his leadership for capturing 172,000 votes in 2019, compared to 33,000 in 2015.

In a news release, Mandel called his time as leader a “tremendous honour.” 

“The results were not as we had hoped but I believe we have broken new ground by gaining the support of over nine per cent of the popular vote. I am grateful for all the support and thoroughly enjoyed travelling the province making connections.”

Mandel was elected to lead the Alberta Party in February 2018, beating out competitors Kara Lavis, a Calgary lawyer, and Rick Fraser, the Calgary-South East MLA at the time. 

The leadership race was triggered after former party leader Greg Clark stepped down in November 2017, in what he said was a bid to increase interest and membership sales in the party.

He told reporters that a leadership race would help the party reach those goals.

The party will discuss its next step at its annual general meeting, which has yet to be scheduled.

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