A candidate who the UCP distanced themselves from over comments disparaging gender ideology in schools has won her riding of Lacombe-Ponoka by a wide margin.

Despite being denounced by Premier Danielle Smith for comparing gender ideology in schools to the presence of feces in baked goods, candidate Jennifer Johnson won 67% of the vote, beating out Alberta NDP candidate Dave Dale who only received only 23.3%. 

On the campaign trail, Smith reinforced her decision to exclude Johnson from a UCP caucus as “final” should she be elected. 

“She has a lot of work to do. I believe in redemption. I do believe that people have the ability to have second chances. She’s got a lot of proving to do,” said Smith. 

An audio recording of Johnson surfaced earlier this month which prompted the controversy and an eventual apology from her. 

“‘Enjoy (the cookies), I only put a teaspoon of poop in them, but it doesn’t matter because it’s only a teaspoon in the whole batch,” said Johnson about the presence of gender ideology in schools. 

“Same idea — we can be top three per cent, but that little bit of poop is what wrecks it.”

On Monday, the UCP was declared the winner of Alberta’s 2023 provincial election.

Premier Smith will continue to lead a majority government with current counts placing the UCP at 48 seats in the legislature, with 38 for the Alberta NDP. 

Should Johnson be welcomed back into caucus, the UCP would have a total of 49 seats – well ahead of the 44 required for a majority government. 

In a victory speech on Monday evening, Smith told viewers that she pledged to represent the views of all Albertans – even those who did not vote for her. 

“I want to speak for a moment to every Albertan who did not vote for me. My oath is to serve everyone, no matter how you voted,” said Smith. 

“I know I didn’t do enough to win your support but I will work everyday to prove to you that I can be trusted to deliver on the issues you care about.”