By MorinvilleNews.com Staff
Barrhead – Citing a need to take back his personal life, Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Ken Kowalski announced Friday morning he would not seek re-election in the next election. With that decision comes the end of Kowalski’s 33 years as an elected official.
In a letter issued Friday, Kowalski said, “For most of my 43 years of working life I have had little time for my family and myself. It’s time for me to have an opportunity to have privacy, to focus on the importance of family, and to do many of the things that I have always wanted to do and have been unable to do.”
Kowalski said the decision to withdraw his candidacy was a difficult one; however, he felt it was the right decision for him at this time.
“It has been an incredible honour to have had the privilege of serving the people of the various constituencies that I have represented and the people of Alberta for these many years,” he wrote in his letter.
The long-serving MLA had ended months of earlier speculation about his retirement last August at a constituency meeting in Barrhead. At that time the Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly told members of his constituency association and the media he would seek the nomination for the Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock PC Association for the next election, whenever that election may be.
Kowalski had indicated some months previously he’d announce his intentions in August pending medical news of his wife’s health. With Mrs. Kowalski’s health improving in late August, the MLA said he was faced with asking himself when it was an appropriate time to leave politics and when was it not an appropriate time to leave. At the August meeting Kowalski had said his own health was good, he still had energy and enthusiasm for the job as well as a commitment to continue on. For the veteran politician, the real question was did he want to do it again, a question he was at that time able to answer in the affirmative.
Four months later, and with an election date set for no later than May 31, 2012, the MLA has made the decision to retire from public life, confident his constituency would send another conservative to the legislature in the spring.
“The people of Barrhead- Morinville-Westlock have been incredible and have given me the privilege of representing them through nine elections for over 32 years,” Kowalski wrote Friday. “I have been very proud to serve them and am very proud of the record that we have achieved together.”
With an election date set for the spring, the Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock PCs will be looking for another candidate to run in Kowalski’s place. Presently the only declared opposition candidate in the constituency is the Wildrose’s Link Byfield.
Kowalski will remain the MLA for the constituency of Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock through to the end of the term and as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly until the election of a new Speaker following the next Provincial election.