Chestermere-Strathmore MLA Leela Aheer announced on Wednesday she will not run for the UCP in next spring’s provincial election.

MLA Aheer has served two terms in office since being elected in 2015, one term with the Wildrose Party and one with the UCP, during that time she served as the deputy premier and minister of culture, multiculturalism and status of women under former premier Jason Kenney.

Aheer posted a statement to her twitter account on Wednesday morning, “Today I decided I will not be running for the United Conservative Party in the next provincial election,” Aheer said. “I am a mother, musician, proud wife, friend, entrepreneur, advocate, and (first) generation Albertan. I am a rural MLA, and my roots and experiences reflect my values.”

This announcement comes after her recent camapign in the UCP leadership race, during her campaign she did strongly oppose the ideas that were raised by the current Premier Danielle Smith, which includes the proposed sovereignty act. 

“I chose to run for the UCP leadership to reflect my commitment and values and give back to the province that has given so much to my family and me,” she said. “But the members have stated their wishes for leadership and a new direction for our party. I respect their decision.

Aheer has stated that she will fulfil her term Chestermere-Strathmore MLA. “Thank you to all Albertans, particularly those from my former riding of Chestermere-Rocky View and new riding of Chestermere-Strathmore, for providing me the opportunity to serve. We have accomplished so many things together."