Ken Grey is the new leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan.
Members elected Grey with 77% of the vote to replace outgoing leader Rick Swenson during the party’s leadership convention Saturday at the Heritage Inn and Convention Centre in Moose Jaw. Paul Carroll, the only other candidate in the race, received the remaining 23%.
Grey explained why he decided to enter the leadership race, and what he will bring to the party. "I thought I had a lot to offer. I'm keenly interested in bringing a fiscally conservative voice to the province of Saskatchewan. We don't have one now. My mission is to provide the people of Saskatchewan with a fiscally conservative alternative in the next election."
Grey said he was relieved the leadership race was over. "My opponent ran a very good campaign. He's a very qualified man. My feelings right now...I'm just happy it's over, and we can move on to the next phase, and that's building this party." Grey said he wants to bring new people and new ideas to the party. Grey previously spent time with the Saskatchewan NDP.
Swenson reflected on why he decided to step down as the leader, and what new leadership means to the party.
"It was a combination of things. I'm 66. We've seen leadership change in all of the parties in the province within the last year. I think it's important that our party be ready to face those challenges of new leadership. I've been through three provincial elections in this latest round, and I contested three provincial elections back in the '80s and '90s. I think my role here was to preserve this party for the future, and I think I did that. The trust fund is safely in hand, and our new leader doesn't have to worry about those issues. He can go forward and just deal with policy. [New leadership] It's an opportunity. We see politics changing all over the world. It's an opportunity for our party and our new leader to test out some of those new conclusions. Saskatchewan is a far different place than when I took over in 2006. We're a province that's been through a boom. And now we [have] bills to pay."
Carroll shared his thoughts on what the future of the provincial PC party will look like with a new leader. "Ken seems to be a very dynamic and open person. He has great ideas. I think he's willing to listen. I see it as a nice blend of new ideas and old ideas coming together and making a better party for everyone."
Leadership candidates were required to be Progressive Conservative Party members, to submit a nomination form signed by a minimum of 20 party members before October 15th, and had to be cleared by a vetting committee.
On April 5th, 2018, the PCs announced Rick Swenson would be stepping down after twelve years on the job. At that time, PC Party President Grant Schmidt said the political landscape in Saskatchewan was changing rapidly and the PCs wanted to be a part of that.
Grey was a candidate on September 12, 2018, in the Regina Northeast by-election, where he received 2.8% of the vote.
Carroll lives and works in Estevan.