ALBERTA

Alberta Election 2015: Alberta Leaders Share A Few Little-Known Facts

05/04/2015 08:04 EDT | Updated 05/04/2016 05:12 EDT
CALGARY - Julio the chiweenie is one of the most important passengers on Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Prentice's campaign bus.

The dog was left in the care of Prentice and his wife Karen by his daughter for a bit of dogsitting the past few weeks and has become a welcome member of the campaign team. A chiweenie is a cross between a chihuahua and a daschund, otherwise known as a wiener dog.

"He's a presence on the bus. He weighs barely five pounds, but he's happy and he just wants to be part of it," says Prentice.

"He's providing comic relief. He looks like he's from the 'Star Wars' movie — that scene in the bar. He's a pretty odd looking guy but you can't not love him."

While Albertans have heard plenty about the election platforms over the last four weeks, the leaders of the four main parties vying for power in Tuesday's vote were asked to share a few things people might not know about them.

Prentice says he's a binge TV watcher and he lists "True Detective" as his favourite show.

He says most people don't know that he's an outdoorsman.

"I don't think people know how much time I spent climbing and rambling in the Rocky Mountains and hiking and any chance I get I go fly fishing as well."

NDP boss Rachel Notley says her favourite TV show is "Game of Thrones" and there are advantages to being in charge when you cruise around the province in an orange mini-van dubbed the "Rachel-mobile."

"We rotate through the playlist for the songs, but I get my pick more often than others because I sit in the front so that's kind of fun," she laughed.

She's a dog person too.

"We have a three-legged rescue dog. I'm not sure how many people know that."

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean says he's slept a few nights in his party-painted, second-hand RV, which he purchased when the election began.

He lists "House of Cards" as his favourite show "because it gives me a good idea of what my competition is all about."

While pundits felt he was too wooden in the leaders' debate, Jean says there are two things the public needs to know about him.

"I am not a robot. I actually have a personality and am a pretty funny guy," he deadpans. "Some people suggested I should be a standup comic."

Liberal Leader David Swann travelled the province in his unmarked Ford hybrid SUV and struggled to come up with a favourite TV show, finally settling on "The Nature of Things."

For the son of a rancher, his secret might be the most shocking of all.

"I'm a vegetarian," he says.

"My dad raised cattle on a ranch south of Calgary and wasn't entirely impressed when I decided to become a vegetarian 15 years ago."

Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter.

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