|Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan Leader|
|Preceded by||Iris Dennis|
|Leader of the Opposition|
|Preceded by||Grant Devine|
|Succeeded by||Bill Boyd|
|MLA for Thunder Creek|
|Preceded by||Colin Thatcher|
|Succeeded by||Gerard Aldridge|
April 12, 1952 |
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
Richard "Rick" James Swenson (born April 12, 1952) is a provincial level politician from Saskatchewan, Canada. He was a member of the Saskatchewan Legislature from 1985 to 1995, and is still active in provincial politics as the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan since 2006.
He was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the son of Donald Swenson, and grew up in the Baildon district. Swenson was educated at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina. In 1976, he established Wheaton Bee Farms, specializing in alfalfa seed and dryland grass production. Solomon also helped form the Baildon/Moose Jaw Effluent Irrigation Project.
Swenson was elected to the Legislature in a by-election held in the Thunder Creek electoral district on March 27, 1985. He was elected to replace former MLA Colin Thatcher who was convicted of murdering his wife. In that by-election he won a hotly contested three way race defeating three other candidates with a plurality of 900 votes.
Swenson was re-elected just a little over a year later in the 1986 general election. He won that election by a much wider margin facing two of the three candidates that ran in the by-election. Swenson won his third term in the 1991 general election narrowly being returned to his seat. He served in the provincial cabinet as Minister of Energy and Mines and as Minister of Indian and Métis Affairs. Swenson served as interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives from October 8, 1992 to November 24, 1994.
Swenson did not seek re-election in the 1995 election. In 1997, Swenson along with most members of the PC Party joined the Saskatchewan Party while the scandal-ridden PC's essentially went dormant under the nominal leadership of Iris Dennis. Swenson sought the Saskatchewan Party nomination in Thunder Creek for the 1999 election, but was defeated by Lyle Stewart.
Swenson returned to provincial politics in 2006, replacing Dennis as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. Swenson subsequently announced plans to re-activate his old party. However, Swenson was only able to attract four other candidates besides himself to run in the 2007 general election. Swenson ran as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the Thunder Creek constituency, placing a distant fourth out of five candidates. In the 2011 general election, the PC's again ran five candidates in total, with Swenson running this time in nearby Moose Jaw North and placing a distant third out of four candidates.
|Saskatchewan general election, 2011: Moose Jaw North|
|Prog. Conservative||Richard Swenson||273||3.61%||-|
|Saskatchewan general election, 2007: Thunder Creek|
|Prog. Conservative||Richard Swenson||295||3.42%||-|
|Saskatchewan general election, 1991: Thunder Creek|
|Progressive Conservative||Richard Swenson||2,929||42.61%||-10.91|
|Saskatchewan general election, 1986: Thunder Creek|
|Progressive Conservative||Richard Swenson||3,773||53.52%||+11.03|
|Western Canada Concept||Robert Gleim||38||0.54%||-2.34|
|March 27, 1985 by-election: Thunder Creek
resignation of Colin Thatcher
|Progressive Conservative||Richard Swenson||2,670||42.49%||-|
|Western Canada Concept||Henry Banman||181||2.88%||-|
- "Swenson, Richard James, 1952-". Saskatchewan Archival Information Network. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- Saskatchewan Historical Votes by Constituency Record
- Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan website