Campaign a memorable experience for Hjertaas

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Liberal candidate Estelle Hjertaas chats with supporters at her campaign headquarters Monday night.

Although she had been involved in helping to run campaigns over the last 15 years, it was a surreal feeling for Estelle Hjertaas as she was the one that was canvassing for votes during this year’s federal election.

“At times it just felt like another campaign, but as I would knock on doors I started to realize that I’m the candidate,” Hjertaas said.

“To see my name on the ballot was a very memorable moment and I’m still not sure that it has really hit home yet.”

While Hjertaas finished in third place in the Prince Albert riding, the experience was one that she won’t soon forget.

“It was tons of fun meeting people and to have an excuse to go around the different towns in the riding and have conversations with the people there,” Hjertaas said. “Even though the people that I met may not have voted for me, the vast majority of our conversations were positive.

“The only negative was some of the comments on the Internet, which were atrocious at times, but that’s the only place where I encountered that.”

There were mixed emotions as the results came in from around the country at the campaign headquarters on Monday night.

Although the Liberals won the most seats and will form a minority government, they did lose their only seat in Saskatchewan.

Conservative candidate Michael Kram upset Ralph Goodale, who had held the Regina-Wascana riding since 1993.

“It’s disappointing to see some of my friends who are MP’s not coming back, but there were some others who retained their seat and I’m really pleased that it’s going to be another Liberal government,” Hjertaas said. “Given that there were some predictions a week ago that it would be a complete collapse for the Liberals at a national level, we’re pretty happy about that.”

When it comes to what’s next for Hjertaas, she plans to return to her job as a Criminal Lawyer at Legal Aid Saskatchewan.

“I’ll be heading back to work and resuming normal life,” Hjertaas said. “We’ll be out cleaning up the campaign signs and I might have some more time for dancing again.”