One UCP leadership candidate is turning heads with a controversial campaign email sent out Wednesday afternoon.
Rebecca Schulz and her team penned a message to party members in which they pose as an NDP supporter and claim Schulz is the only candidate who can win for the conservatives in next spring’s provincial election.
“We’re terrified of Rebecca Schulz,” it says. “Some of us actually say she’s the NDP’s worst nightmare. So please, do the NDP a favour, and don’t vote for Rebecca Schulz.”
The email ends with a link to donate and a signoff from “Your Friendly Neighborhood Socialist.”
Schulz isn’t currently seen as one of the race’s frontrunners.
“I think all of the candidates have put forward their best foot saying pretty much the same thing: ‘if you don’t vote for me, all doom is going to break loose,'” University of Lethbridge political scientist Trevor Harrison said. “Clearly, Schulz is kind of hoping to be a dark horse in the race. I’m not sure it’s actually going to work at this point.”
Schulz’s team says the fictitious character wasn’t aiming to trick anyone.
“The email clearly shows who the sender was as it has Rebecca’s logo and is sent from the campaign email,” a statement reads. “The intent of the email was to ring the alarm on the possibility that the NDP will be the ones who come out as winners should we get this wrong and that is precisely what it has done.”
Leadership candidates are bound by some Elections Alberta and CRTC regulations, but it doesn’t appear the email broke any race rules.
The party forces all candidate correspondence to include identification and contact information, and the email was sent from Schulz’s commonly-used campaign email address.
The UCP Caucus refused to comment.
“That’s pretty desperate of Rebecca Schulz and her campaign,” NDP MLA Irfan Sabir told CTV News.
Votes will be tallied October 6.