It's been just over a week since the Saskatchewan Party named their official candidate for the upcoming provincial election, as Macklin's Kim Gartner won the contested vote inside the new constituency of Kindersley-Biggar.

WestCentralOnline spoke with Gartner after the news had settled in. He described his emotions after the decision was announced.

"I am completely humbled and honoured. It was an overwhelming evening, you know, the support I received that night. Just the whole process was, I don't want to say a fun night, but it was an exciting night. It showed that there is a great deal of interest in selecting a candidate."

Many hours of work are included in any political campaign. Gartner had some people to thank over the last few months. 

"I received nomination votes from all across the constituency, and when you ask party members to drive more than an hour-and-a-half one way just to attend, cast a vote, and drive home; it's a big ask," began Gartner. "So in particular, the support I received from my home community, the Macklin-Denzil-Cactus Lake area members, it was phenomenal. They came in droves."

The next logical step for Gartner would be to plan for the next campaign ahead. Instead, before any other political planning gets underway, Gartner is assessing the very-likely possibility of replacing his seat as the Town of Macklin's Chief Administrative Officer.  

"The next, and first-most-important thing in my mind, is the discussion I have to have now with my town council. Around the administration team for the community," explained Gartner. "If I should win the seat in the next election, we need to ensure that we have some plans in place to have a seamless transition to a new administration. That's number one, working hard to find that person that's going to sit in my chair should I win the next election. Making sure that the community doesn't suffer anymore than they might feel they are going to with losing me."

That very specific example has been top of mind for Gartner. Having the support of the town office through the recent campaign, the last thing he wants to do is leave them behind. 

"We've got fantastic staff here. I have no doubt that they are going to be able to keep moving the community in the right direction." said Gartner as an internal replacement option would be best, but outside candidates will be considered as well, judging by what's best for the community. 

The current CAO will have plenty of time to feel out that next step with the Saskatchewan General Election tentatively on the calendar for Monday, Oct 28, 2024. Putting one campaign behind him, Gartner will soon have to get the ball rolling on his next one. 

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