Raj Sherman

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Raj Sherman
M.D. MLA
Raj Sherman cropped.jpg
Leader of Official Opposition of Alberta
In office
September 12, 2011 – April 23, 2012
Preceded by David Swann
Succeeded by Danielle Smith
Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party
In office
September 10, 2011 – January 26, 2015
Preceded by David Swann
Succeeded by TBD
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Incumbent
Assumed office
2008
Preceded by Maurice Tougas
Constituency Edmonton-Meadowlark
Personal details
Born Rajnish Sherman
Rajasthan, India
Political party Liberal 2011-present
Other political
affiliations
Progressive Conservative 2008-2010
Residence Edmonton, Alberta
Alma mater University of Alberta
Occupation Emergency Physician

Rajnish K. "Raj" Sherman[1] is an Alberta politician and current Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Edmonton-Meadowlark, formerly as a Progressive Conservative. On March 15, 2011, Sherman declared his candidacy for the leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party. He was elected leader of the Liberal Party on September 10, 2011 and led the party through the 2012 provincial election. He announced his immediate resignation on January 26, 2015 and that he will not be running for a third term as MLA in the next provincial election.[2]

Early life[edit]

Sherman was born in India but grew up in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia after moving there in 1975. As a youngster, he delivered newspapers for The Vancouver Sun and The Province. The third of four sons, Sherman moved to Canada from India at a young age. He moved to Edmonton in the early 1980s to attend the University of Alberta. He graduated from faculty of medicine in 1990, specializing in family and emergency medicine. In addition to being a doctor, Sherman was also a clinical lecturer at the University of Alberta and president of the Emergency Physicians of Alberta within the Alberta Medical Association.

Political career[edit]

Sherman first sought public office in the March 2008 provincial election in the constituency of Edmonton-Meadowlark. The seat was left vacant after incumbent Liberal MLA Maurice Tougas retired. Sherman, running as a Conservative candidate, won the riding comfortably, receiving 2,752 votes over his closest rival, Liberal Debbie Cavaliere. After his election, he was named parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Ron Liepert. He also serves as a member of the Standing Committee on Health and the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing. He works as an emergency room doctor on Sundays.[3]

In November 2010, Sherman criticized the government for emergency room wait times in Alberta. He was suspended from the Progressive Conservative caucus and sat as an independent MLA. The following spring, he announced his intention to seek the Alberta Liberal Party leadership. At the 2011 leadership convention, he was elected on the first ballot.[4]

In the 2012 Alberta election, Sherman was successful in retaining his seat of Edmonton-Meadowlark with 35.5% of the vote, this time as a member of the Liberal Party. He defeated PC candidate Bob Maskell by 118 votes (0.8%). In the election, the Liberals fell from Official Opposition to third party status behind the PC's and Wildrose. Despite losing almost 17% of the popular vote in a very hotly contested election, the vote was concentrated in enough ridings to retain 5 of their previous MLA's and keep ahead of the NDP. The Liberals lost Edmonton-Riverview, Edmonton-Gold Bar and Calgary-Varsity to the Progressive Conservatives due to tactical voting[citation needed] and the retirement of the incumbent MLA's.

Sherman announced his immediate resignation as Liberal leader on January 26, 2015 citing personal reasons and also announced that he will not run for re-election as an MLA but would remain in the legislature until the next election. Sherman was under investigation by Elections Alberta after allegations he breached political contribution limits by donating more than $15,000 to the party and resigned prior to the results of the investigation being released.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Sherman has coached soccer and basketball, served as the director for the Society of Helping Lives in Poverty, and is a past member of the McKernan housing community. He received a gold pin for his service with STARS and a bronze medal from the Alberta Northwest Lifesaving Society. In his spare time, Sherman enjoys sports, travel and the arts.

While in medical school, Sherman married at the age of 21 and had two children - now a 20-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter. The marriage ended several years later in part, Sherman says, because as a young doctor he "was never home."[5][6]

Election results[edit]

2012 Alberta general election results ( Edmonton-Meadowlark ) Turnout %
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Liberal Raj Sherman 5,150 35.5%
     Progressive Conservative Bob Maskell 5,032 34.7%
     Wildrose Rick Newcombe 2,978 20.5%
     NDP Bridget Stirling 1,091 7.5%
     Alberta Party Neil Mather 262 1.8%
Total 14,513 100%
2008 Alberta general election results ( Edmonton-Meadowlark ) Turnout 40.0%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Raj Sherman 6,176 55%
     Liberal Debbie Cavaliere 3,424 30%
     NDP Pascal Ryffel 1,010 9%
Greens Amanda Doyle 347 3%
     Wildrose Alliance Richard Guyon 307 3%
Total 11,264 100%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sessional Papers (2011)". Legislative Assembly of Alberta. p. 16. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Raj Sherman quits as Alberta Liberal leader, won’t seek third term as MLA". Edmonton Journal. January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  3. ^ Renata D'Aliesio (2010-11-23). "Tory MLA Raj Sherman suspended from caucus, vows to sit as independent". Calgary Herald via Yahoo news. 
  4. ^ "Raj Sherman elected Alberta Liberal leader". CBC News. September 10, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/PROFILE+Sherman+seeks+cure+Liberal+woes/5349867/story.html
  6. ^ "Sherman's Legislative Assembly of Alberta biography".