Reil ran as a candidate for the Social Credit Party of Alberta in the 1997 Alberta general election. He ran in the electoral district of St. Albert and was defeated by Mary O'Neill who picked up the district for the Progressive Conservatives over incumbent Len Bracko. Reil had been serving as the Social Credit party President until he left in 1999 along with Leader Randy Thorsteinson and helped to found the Alberta First Party. This move came after the Socreds restricted involvement of Mormons in running the party.
Reil served as Alberta First's founding President until he was elected as the leader for the party at a convention held on January 22, 2000. In June of that year he contested a by-election held after Pam Barrett resigned after her near-death experience in the dentist chair. Reil managed to take 3% of the popular vote, but was soundly defeated by NDP candidate Brian Mason. Reil contested the 2001 Alberta general election in the electoral district of Cardston-Taber-Warner. He finished second with a respectable showing to Broyce Jacobs.
- "St. Albert official results 1997 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- Mutimer, David. Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 1999. University of Toronto Press. p. 235. ISBN 0-8020-3901-4.
- "Alberta party caps Mormon participation". CBC News. November 10, 2000. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
- "Reil chosen to lead Alberta First Party". CBC News. 2000-01-22. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
- "Highlands voters go to the polls June 12". CBC News. May 15, 2000. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
- "Edmonton-Highlands By-election Results". Elections Alberta. Archived from the original on 2009-06-07. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
- "New Democrats win Edmonton byelection". CBC News. June 13, 2000. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Cardston-Taber-Warner official results 2001 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- "Meet the Liberal leadership candidates". Alberta Teachers Association. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Taft clinches Alberta Liberal leadership". The Globe and Mail. March 28, 2004. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
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