Former Blue Bomber Obby Khan is looking to bring change with the Progressive Conservative Party in the Fort Whyte by-election.

Khan is the PC candidate in the Fort Whyte by-election set for Mar. 22, 2022.

The second Khan touched down in Winnipeg, he said he fell in love with the city.

“From the first day I got here, off the tarmac, down the old airport escalator, people had signs welcome home, we love you Obby and they hadn’t even met me,” said Khan.

A product of Ottawa, Ont., Khan played CFL football, most notably for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. After retiring from the game, Khan settled in Winnipeg permanently, opening multiple restaurants and donating time to local charities.

“I’m asking people to look at the body of everything I’ve done and I think that’s what sets me apart from the other candidates,” said Khan.

Khan said with his playing career over, and his businesses up and running, it was time for him to enter politics. He is focused on fixing health care, economic recovery for businesses, and seniors care.

“This is where I’m at in my life, I want to do good,” said Khan. “I want to do right by the people, let’s take that jump into politics.”

He is not the only high-profile name or even football player running in Fort Whyte. Former Blue Bomber Willard Reaves is the Liberal candidate. The NDP has former WSO Executive Director Trudy Schroeder. Nicolas Geddert is representing the Green Party, and Patrick Allard is running as an independent.

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Despite the other names in the contest, Chris Adams, adjunct professor of political studies, said Khan is the front-runner. Adams said his business background of him in a strong blue constitution that Brian Pallister won with more than 50 percent of the vote makes Khan a favourite.

“It’s what I would consider the safest riding for the PCs, maybe with the exception of Tuxedo, the safest riding in Winnipeg,” said Adams.

Front-runner or not, the candidate said he is acting like an underdog.

“I’m working as if I’m 100 – as if I’m 1,000 ballots behind,” said Khan.

His party may very well be behind with a general election coming next year. The Tories have been down in the opinion polls, in part over how it and its leader Premier Heather Stefanson has handled the COVID-19 crisis.

Khan said all governments have struggled during the pandemic.

“We have 18 months to turn things around, it’s a pandemic, it’s tough, everyone is done with the pandemic, I’m done with the pandemic, we want to get through this,” said Khan.

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