Jeremy Cockrill has won the Sask Party nomination in the Battlefords.
He took the nod Thursday night at a contested nomination meeting at the Dekker Centre defeating Tom Hawboldt, the only other contender in the race. Official vote totals were not immediately known, but indications are that Cockrill won by a substantial margin.
Cockrill now looks forward to being on the ballot in this fall's provincial election.
"We've got to get to work on the campaign starting Monday," said Cockrill. He planned to start training for the election and "learning from sitting MLAs", and "start knocking on doors."
He attributed his nomination win to doing the work in knocking on doors to gain support. He said his campaign sold about 150 party members in advance of the nomination -- not as much as he would have liked, but enough to win the nomination.
Cockrill, who moved to the Battlefords three years ago, manages Fortress Windows and Doors and also is head coach of the North Battleford Comp senior boys basketball team. The graduate of Trinity Western University has also run his own businesses in the past.
"Somebody who has business experience -- that's a real asset in representing our riding specifically, and also any riding in the government," said Cockrill.
While he comes from the business world, Cockrill says he has a deep interest in politics. "I've been interested in government and politics from a young age. I started volunteering federally when I was 14 years old," said Cockrill.
"I always thought this was maybe something I'd do when I was 60 years old. But I'm half that, and I thought, why not now? A new adventure, something new to learn."
Cockrill acknowledged that because there was no incumbent running again, the opposition New Democrats might regard the riding as an easy target "I'm going to put the work in to make sure they don't," he said.
The night also marked an emotional farewell for Herb Cox, the party's candidate in the last three provicial elections. He addressed party members and touted his accomplishments in the legislature.
Cox expressed confidence to reporters that Cockrill would be a great candidate for the party in the Battlefords.
"He's a young fellow, he's got a lot of energy. I know he worked hard for this nomination and you heard him tonight, he's committed to work hard to win the election. And I'm going to give him whatever help I can."