Premier Brad Wall couldn’t escape talk of who will succeed him while touting his candidate to run in the Saskatoon-Fairview byelection Friday morning.
Speaking to reporters, Wall said as a political nerd he’s very excited to see a Sask Party leadership race play out.
But he’ll only be watching.
“I’ll be staying very, very, very, very neutral,” Wall said.
“All the folks who work in the executive council or the premier’s office are being asked to stay very, very neutral.”
While the premier didn’t name any potential candidates, he said he’s interest from both inside and outside the party.
“It’s going to be a great field,” he said.
“It’ll be good for the party, and good for the exchange of ideas in the province.”
Wall was asked of the timing of his resignation announcement, and why it wasn’t made closer to the next general election.
He said it’s important to allow the province to familiarize themselves with the new premier first.
“He or she is going to have to take some time to connect,” he said. “That doesn’t happen overnight.”
Saskatoon-Fairview byelection campaign kicks off
Wall was in Saskatoon to officially announce the byelection date for the Saskatoon-Fairview riding.
The vote will be held Sept. 7, deciding who will replace the seat left vacant when Sask Party MLA Jennifer Campeau moved to B.C. in June.
New Sask Party candidate Cameron Scott will be pitted against the NDP’s Vicki Mowat in what’s expected to be a tight race.
In the 2016 election, Mowat lost to Campeau by 184 votes. Campeau also won the 2011 vote by a tight margin, defeating NDP candidate Andy Iwanchuk by 247 ballots.
With an unpopular provincial budget in the spring and the spectre of Wall leaving the party looming, the premier said he expects a tight battle.
“It’s going to be a very difficult election to win,” Wall said.
“But I’m seeing a change in how people see the budget … People don’t like the individual elements, but they like the objective (of balancing the budget).”
The Progressive Conservatives are running David Prokopchuk as their candidate in the byelection, while Shah Rukh will represent the Saskatchewan Liberals.