The Swift Current provincial byelection officially kicked off yesterday, and the three candidates already announced have less than four weeks to win over voters before ballots are filled in March 1.

Now-retired Premier and Swift Current MLA Brad Wall's now-former Executive Assistant Everett Hindley is representing the Saskatchewan Party, against Swift Current Comprehensive High School Teacher Stefan Rumpel of the NDP and 20-year-old Aidan Roy of the Liberals.

Yesterday both Hindley and Rumpel were at their offices in the afternoon meeting with the public and media, as they and their teams worked on setting up their offices for the byelection.

Roy, who grew up in Weyburn and attends the University of Regina, said he's hoping to get to Swift Current as soon as possible to start talking to people.

"As soon as I can get to Swift Current I will be knocking on doors, I will be participating in the debate, and I will also be raising awareness through social media campaigns as well," said Roy.

No date for a debate has been set, but candidate nominations close February 13. There's no candidate from the Green Party yet, nor from the Progressive Conservatives.

Hindley has been around the game for a while, working for Wall, but he said being the name and face on the signs is a change of pace.

Hindley talked about how things now shift from hearing more from Saskatchewan Party members while running against Derek Robinson for the nod to represent the party, to speaking with people across party lines.

"During a nomination race you're hitting supporters and trying to sell memberships. It's kind of that one branch of th political spectrum. But when you're in a byelection, obviously you're running to be the MLA for everybody in the constituency regardless of political stripe."

Rumpel won the NDP nod over Shaun Hanna last weekend, while Everett has known he'll be a name on the ballot since December 11.

Rumpel said in the past week he's been chomping at the bit to get going. Though leading up to the NDP nomination meeting, he said he tried to speak to people outside of the NDP base.

"If your'e talking to somebody who leans already more NDP, well then what they think is going to be different. But at the same time, at the core, from what I've talked to - and I have people who are supporters of all different parties, and different walks of life - when you talk to everybody what it really comes down to, are you taking care of people? Are you making sure people are financially stable? Do they have access to good government services, like education and healthcare? And if all of those things are in place, then government just needs to let their people thrive and do what people do best, which is build strong, vibrant communities."

Roy said being from outside of Swift Current is a challenge, but one he looks to tackle.

"It's interesting to say the least. It is a challenge that I have to overcome with this election, but I am giving it my all and ensuring that the Liberal voice is represented in this byelection."

Roy plans on unveiling his platform this coming week. Meanwhile, Hindley and Rumpel plan on being ears for public concerns.

"I think there's no better method to do that than by getting out during an election campaign, a byelection campaign, and we're always looking forward to seeing what folks have to say," explained Hindley. "That's the most important thing for any elected official, whether you're a federal politician, a provincial MLA, or you're on city council or the local school board. What's important is you listen to the people that you represent and take those views to the provincial table."

Byelections are also set for March 1 in Kindersley and Melfort.

 

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