More details are emerging on the background of last-minute mayoral candidate Devon Hein.
While he describes himself as a political consultant who typically steps into campaigns at “the last minute,” it’s been revealed Hein has actually run as a provincial candidate in the past.
According to documents from the 2007 provincial byelection in Martensville, Kurtis D. Hein ran as a candidate for the Saskatchewan Heritage Party.
He received a total of 37 votes, finishing last, while Sask. Party candidate Nancy Heppner brought in over 3,500 votes to win the seat.
Hein confirmed in an interview with 650 CKOM one of his given names is Kurt, as he’s listed in the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame for being on the 1985 Saskatoon Hilltops team that captured a national championship.
However, he was less forthcoming with his role in political life. While he suggested he had worked for four parties at the provincial level as a consultant, he never indicated he had been a political candidate. Hein cited “non-disclosure agreements” for why he couldn’t provide a list of the parties he had consulted with.
He noted that whenever he worked with a campaign, it was a last-minute call that brought him into the fold.
“I was helping them out at times when nobody would step forward,” he said. “I would go door-to-door in neighbourhoods where people were afraid of being bitten by a dog. I’m not afraid of that.”
Hein said there are politicians currently sitting in the Saskatchewan Legislature who he helped get elected.
All major parties, several sitting politicians, and city council candidates in both Saskatoon and Regina were asked if they have worked with Hein in the past, but none could recall ever being in contact with him.
Hein said he doesn’t want the civic election to be drawn into a debate about provincial politics and for his history to become a big issue.
“This is a civic election,” he said. “I don’t think provincial parties have much to do with city hall.”
After being asked repeatedly over the course of the interview to provide a list of the parties he worked for, Hein named both the Heritage Party and the Saskatchewan Democratic Action Party. But those parties are the same political entity, as the Heritage Party became the SDAP after the Martensville byelection.
In fact, Hein was later named as leader of the SDAP. The party took a stand against foreign labour, suggesting immigrants were taking jobs from people in Saskatchewan.
Hein said the parties he worked for weren’t extreme.
“They didn’t have any particular leanings as far as I could see,” he said, not specifically referring to the SDAP. “They weren’t radical, they seemed solid.”
He clarified he’s no longer registered with any political party and he’s focused on his mayoralty campaign.
Hein is pushing for a zero per cent tax increase should he become mayor. He’s noted the need to step away from “kingdom-building” projects along the riverfront such as the Remai Modern Art Gallery and the need to step up crime prevention in the city.