Elsalhy contested the nomination for Edmonton McClung against Maurice Tougas in 2004, and started campaigning three months before the nomination day. He was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing Edmonton McClung in the 2004 general election for the Alberta Liberal Party. Despite being heavily outspent, he defeated Mark Norris, the only cabinet minister to lose a seat in this election. He was then assigned the role of Critic for the Government Services and Innovation and Science portfolios by Opposition Leader Kevin Taft. He was also made Deputy House Leader and was chosen Shadow Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Shadow Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security. He also chaired the Democratic Renewal Committee for the Official Opposition and was appointed Deputy Chair of the all-party Standing Policy Field Committee for Government Services.
On July 25, 2008, Elsalhy declared his intention to seek the leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party. He received 11% of the vote which was conducted through a mail-in process. David Swann won that contest and was declared Leader on December 13, 2008. In March 2009, Elsalhy was asked by Swann to lead a seven-member renewal team. The work of his 'Renewal Committee' concluded in July 2009.
On October 23, 2010, Elsalhy was nominated to stand for election again. He was acclaimed as the Alberta Liberal candidate to run in Edmonton-McClung in the 2011/12 provincial election.
- On The Ballot: [Final Edition 1] Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 12 Nov 2004: A17.
- "Former Liberal MLA seeking Alberta Party nomination". CBC.
- Constituency Edmonton McClung Constituency Association
- Mo Elsalhy campaign site
- Alberta Liberal candidate biography
- Mo Elsalhy interview in the Real Estate Weekly
- Liberal leadership candidates debut, ATA News, Vol. 43 #5
- Candidates for Liberal leadership race debate over election platforms, The Gateway, October 23, 2008
| MLA Edmonton McClung