Sask. Rivers board chair wins Saskatchewan Party nomination in Batoche

Sask. Party nominee for Batoche Darlene Rowden. -- Saskatchewan Party photo.

Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division board chair Darlene Rowden will run for the Saskatchewan Party in the next election after winning a contested nomination in Wakaw on Monday.

Rowden aims to replace current Sask. Party MLA Delbert Kirsch in the constituency of Batoche. Kirsch was first elected in 2003, but announced last August that he would not seek another term.

“I am eager to win the general election this coming October so I can serve the people of Batoche and work with our Premier, Scott Moe, and the Saskatchewan Party to keep our province and economy moving forward,” Rowden said in a press release. “We have so much to be proud of here. Saskatchewan is truly the best place to live, work, and play—especially in the Batoche Constituency.”

Rowden, her husband, and their three children operate R&B Wilson Ranching, a fourth-generation ranch located east of MacDowall. She has served as a member of the Prince Albert Exhibition Board, and as a 4-H beef leader.

Rowden spent the last 14 years as a Sask. Rivers School Division trustee, and replaced longtime trustee Barry Hollick as board chair in November 2022.

Before winning the nomination, Rowden served as a volunteer on the Saskatchewan Party Batoche Constituency Association. She has also served as Provincial Director since 2011.

Rowden is the 37th candidate nominated by the Saskatchewan Party for the 2024 provincial election. Seven are new candidates while the other 30 are incumbents.

The NDP have not nominated a candidate to run in Batoche.

Rowden was unavailable for an interview on Tuesday due to previous commitments.

The Saskatchewan Party also announced on Tuesday that four longtime MLAs would not seek re-election. Finance Minister Donna Harpauer, Minister Responsible for Crowns Dustin Duncan, Minister Responsible for First Nations, Metis, and Northern Affairs Don McMorris, and Minister of Advanced Education Gord Wyant have all declined to run again in 2024.

“That’s over 80 years of combined political experience and service to the people of Saskatchewan, and that’s not easy to replace,” Premier Scott Moe said in a press release. “But at the same time, every government and every party needs renewal, and I respect the decision that Donna, Don, Dustin, and Gord all made – that it’s time for renewal in their constituency and for a new chapter in each of their lives.”

Harpauer and McMorris were both first elected in 1999—Harpauer in Humboldt-Watrous and McMorris in Indian Head-Milestone. Duncan was first elected to Weyburn-Big Muddy in 2006, while Wyant was first elected to Saskatchewan Northwest in 2010.

All four have held numerous cabinet positions during their term in office.

The Saskatchewan Party has seven more nomination dates schedule before the 2024 election. The election must be held on or before Oct. 28, 2024.