The seven candidates vying to become the next United Conservative Party leader and Alberta premier are to tackle health, the economy and other key issues in their first debate tonight.
They are to square off in Medicine Hat for the first of two scheduled debates ahead of Oct. 6, when party members vote on who should replace Premier Jason Kenney.
The debate will be moderated by former Calgary city councillor Jeff Davison and focus on unity, leadership and the environment.
The candidates include former cabinet ministers Travis Toews, Rebecca Schulz, Rajan Sawhney and Leela Aheer.
Current legislature members Brian Jean and Todd Loewen are also in the race, as is former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith.
This is the only scheduled debate before the crucial Aug. 12 cutoff for members to sign up if they wish to vote in the leadership contest and the final debate is set for Aug. 30 in Edmonton.
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