Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Stampede to the Polls: Kent Hehr Profile

Previous profile:
Ric McIver

For whatever reason, the city that burns Pierre Trudeau in effogy and hasn't elected a federal Liberal since 1968 has a habit of puting Liberals in charge. Dave Broconnier ran for the federal Liberals before making a run for mayor. His predecessor Al Duerr was openly Liberal. Even Mayor Ralph Klein mused about running for the federal grits, though it's highly probable he was intoxicated at the time.

So no one should count out the Liberal flag bearer in this race:

Kent Hehr

About Kent: Born and raised in Calgary, this former sports star was sent to a wheelchair at the age of 22. Since then, his list of accomplishments is long - one of Calgary's "top 40 under 40", the U of C's "Graduate of the last Decade" in 2005, and, most remarkably, being elected as a Liberal in Calgary.

(Appearance: 8/10, Functionality 8/10, Content 6/10, Uniqueness 4/10, Overall 7/10)

Like every candidate in this race, Kent greets you to his page with a picture of him in front of the Calgary skyline. Unlike other candidates, Kent sits in front of the city in a wheelchair.

Hehr's campaign has put a heavy focus on social media, droping the action buttons lower on the main page in favour of his Twitter updates and Facebook profile. A series of short videos can also be found on the main page, introducing voters to Kent.

Although there's a lot on the website, it avoids looking too clutered.

Social Media

1294 Twitter followers - Kent tweets frequently
714 Facebook fans
A couple hundred YouTube views, but four videos are easy to access on his website's main page.

My Take: It's hard not to like Kent. He has a compelling backstory, works hard, and is an all-around great guy. He'd probably make the best Mayor of anyone in the race so I wish him the best of luck.

As for his chances? He's still very much a longshot. I know Liberals do succeed municipally in Calgary, but I have a hard time seeing Kent significantly expand from his downtown base.

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