Alberta Association of Former MLAs
How long did they serve?
Alberta’s longest serving MLA is Gordon Edward Taylor, who was first elected to the Alberta Legislature on March 21, 1940, and he served to March 14, 1979. That was a total of 38 years, 11 months and three weeks. But then there’s the question of who Alberta’s shortest serving Member was, and there are actually three ways of defining this.
In one way Alberta’s shortest serving Member is William Morrison. He was elected as a Social Credit MLA in the constituency of Okotoks-High River in the general election held August 22, 1935. He resigned on October 7, 1935 to allow William Aberhart to run in a by-election held November 4, 1935. Aberhart was elected by acclamation. Morrison’s length of service was 46 days.
On July 19, 1921, Percival Baker, a United Farmers of Alberta Member for the constituency of Ponoka died. He had been elected in the general election held the previous day. Mr. Baker was hit in the head by a tree when he was stumping trees several weeks before the election. He was elected on July 18, was moved from the hospital in Ponoka to the Royal Alexandra hospital in Edmonton, and he died the following day. Mr. Baker was never sworn in as an MLA. In the by-election held December 9, 1921, J.P. Brownlee was elected by acclamation.
The shortest term of office between election and defeat is another category, and that shortest term of office between election and defeat is held by Don MacDonald, a Liberal elected in a by-election in the constituency of Three Hills on October 26, 1992, following the resignation of Connie Osterman. MacDonald received 46.3 per cent of the vote. In the general election held on June 15, 1993, in the renamed constituency of Three Hills-Airdrie, the Progressive Conservative candidate Carol Haley won the seat with 51.2 per cent of the vote. MacDonald received 34.2 per cent of that vote, and his term was seven months 20 days.
The second shortest term of office between election and defeat is held by Alberta's first elected separatist, Gordon Kesler. Kesler won a by-election held February 17, 1982, in the constituency of Olds-Didsbury caused by the resignation of incumbent Robert C. Clark. He represented the Western Canada Concept and received 42.2 per cent of the vote. In the general election held on November 2, 1982 Kesler ran in another riding, the riding of Highwood, and finished second with 18 per cent of the vote. Harry Alger a Progressive Conservative, won that with 70 per cent of the vote. Kesler’s term was eight months, 16 days.