A man from Zhoda who has had an interest in politics his entire life is hoping to claim the La Verendrye PC nomination this week.
Konrad Narth says as a teenager, while his friends were playing with the toys they had received for Christmas, he was packing his suitcase for a trip to Winnipeg to take part in Youth Parliament over the holiday break.
"Politics is at the root of my being," says Narth.
Narth is a lifelong resident of La Verendrye. He is a third-generation farmer and, together with his wife, owns two different businesses in the area. The father of two is a graduate of Shevchenko School in Vita.
At the age of 23, Narth was first elected to the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn council. That was 12 years ago. He served several years as Deputy Reeve but then made the decision not to seek re-election in this year's municipal vote. Narth says that was very intentional.
"I knew that there was good chance that the current MLA wouldn't seek re-nomination for the upcoming election," explains Narth. "So, I had been making this plan for the last four years."
Narth is referring to La Verendrye MLA Dennis Smook, who officially announced earlier this fall that this will be his last term in provincial politics. With hopes of one day being MLA, Narth decided not to seek re-election in Stuartburn, but instead put his attention into getting the PC nomination in La Verendrye and ultimately winning that seat in the next provincial election. In fact, he says for the last few years he has been vocally expressing his interest to run for La Verendrye.
Narth says being a municipal councillor for 12 years gave him extensive experience working not only in his home community but to expand relationships regionally as well. He says he recognizes the importance of functioning regionally within rural Manitoba.
Having a strong passion for community service, Narth says he feels it is very important to have an MLA that is familiar with the system and also has a strong understanding of representation of all areas.
"I felt that I was well positioned to take that step," he says. "(I'm) passionate about Conservative political policy, so it's a natural fit right now. I've been a lifelong Conservative member of the PC party of Manitoba."
According to Narth, his knowledge and experience are the two greatest tools he brings to the position. He says it is important to have effective representation.
"Just having a friendly face is important but it's also important that we have somebody that has experience with that political system," he explains. "So, I think that I bring that to the table and what I'm able to offer, my platform is that I am a true representative of the people."
Narth says if elected MLA, he would always strive to bring La Verendrye to the legislature and not the other way around.
"I believe that our constituency requires quality representation and from someone who knows what it takes to advocate for our constituency," he says. "I believe in the free enterprise values of the Progressive Conservative Party and will never compromise on the priorities that I know are important to the people of southeast Manitoba."
The Progressive Conservative nomination for La Verendrye will happen November 10th at Sarto Hall. Registration happens at 4 pm with polls open from 4 - 8 pm. Speeches will take place at 7 pm. The deadline to purchase a membership in order to vote has already passed.