News / Calgary

Wildrose leader punts Calgary candidate Russ Kuykendall over remarks about 'gay activists'

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean is kicking one of his candidates to the curb after a troubling post was discovered online accusing “gay activists” of pushing their agenda into churches.

Russ Kuykendall, the Wildrose candidates for Calgary-Varsity, was not yet officially endorsed by the party and Jean said after receiving his vetting package he will be looking for a new standard-bearer.

“I just received back this morning at 11 a.m. his vetting package and I spoke with Russ just this afternoon and we are currently seeking a new candidate for Calgary Varsity,” he said in an interview with Metro.

In a blog for the Western Standard, Kuykendall wrote about the 2007 Mayor’s Pride Brunch, an annual event in support of Camp FYrefly and accused organizers of wanting to provoke a reaction by holding at the St. Andrew’s Centre.

“The message that appears to be sent to Catholic Christians who don't accept this 'lifestyle' as acceptable is that 'equality' means that gay activists can take their agenda not just to your front door, but inside the door to places that are consecrated to the Catholic faith, with uniformed police officers (!) exercising state coercion to defend that right!,” reads the post.

Jean said the Wildrose will be working for all Albertans and Kuykendall does not meet their standard.

“We’re focused on our five priorities and we’re going to make sure that our five priorities reflect that we will be governing for all Albertans equally,” he said. “He does not meet what we require for the standard of our candidates.”

Former Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith faced a swell of criticism during the 2012 provincial campaign when she refused to toss Edmonton candidate Allan Hunsperger after a controversial blog post of his surfaced. In it, Hunsperger warned that Satan was setting a "trap" for gays and lesbians and if they didn't change their ways they would "suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell."

Kuykendall couldn't immediately be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, but an online profile of him says he grew up on a grain and cattle farm in Grande Prairie and has lived in Calgary for several years.

"Russ has spent most of his working life in politics and the private sector fighting to reduce your tax burden, to eliminate wasteful government spending, for responsible development of Alberta’s rich endowment of natural resources, and to remove the obstacles to Albertans’ 'can do,' entrepreneurial spirit," reads the profile. "Russ believes that every dollar left in your pocket goes farther to improve your family’s life and job and business."

— With files from Jeremy Nolais

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