Barry Pashak

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Barry Pashak bigraphy, stories - Canadian politician

Barry Pashak : biography

Barry Leonard Pashak is a former college instructor and a Canadian provincial and federal level politician. He served as member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1986 to 1993 sitting with the opposition New Democratic Party caucus. He briefly served as leader for The Equity Party, a minor Alberta provincial party from 2000 to 2001.

Political career

Perennial candidate

1971 Alberta general election results
Calgary-North Hill Turnout 71.06%
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Progressive Conservative Roy Farran 4,961 43.81% Social Credit Robert Simpson 4,900 43.28% NDP Barry Pashak 1,341 11.84% Independent Carl Reich 121 1.07%
Total 11,323 100%

Pashak got his start as a perennial candidate by running for a seat to the Alberta Legislature for the first time in the 1971 Alberta general election as a candidate for the Alberta New Democrats in the electoral district of Calgary-North Hill. He finished a distant third out of fourth place in the hotly contested race behind incumbent Social Credit MLA Robert Simpson and winning Progressive Conservative candidate Roy Farran.

A year later, Pashak ran in his first federal election. He stood as a federal New Democratic Party candidate running in the 1972 federal election in the Calgary North federal electoral district. Pashak once again finished a distant third place out of five candidates losing to Progressive Conservative incumbent Eldon Woolliams.

Pashak attempted a second run at federal politics running for a seat in the 1979 federal election. For the third time he finished third place in his district. He ran in the federal electoral district of Calgary East for the NDP. He was defeated by Progressive Conservative incumbent John Kushner and also finished behind former MLA Albert Ludwig in the field of seven candidates.

The minority government of Joe Clark fell less than a year later resulting in the 1980 federal election. Pashak ran for a second time in the electoral district of Calgary East. The election was a virtual rerun with Pashak facing Kushner and Ludwig for the second time. On election night Pashak finished third out of the eight candidates but lost almost 700 votes from his 1979 total. He finished behind Kushner and Ludwig respectively.

Pashak returned to provincial politics running as a candidate in the 1982 provincial election in the electoral district of Calgary-Buffalo. He finished a distant third out of fourth place for the fifth time in his career behind winner Progressive Conservative candidate Brian Lee and defeated incumbent Tom Sindlinger.

Two years later Pashak attempted his fourth and final run at federal politics running in the electoral district of Calgary East for the third straight time. He finished a distant third out of eighth place in the open district behind winner Progressive Conservative candidate Alex Kindy and former Mayor Rod Sykes.

Legislative assembly

Pashak made an electoral breakthrough when he ran for a seat in the 1986 provincial election in the electoral district of Calgary-Forest Lawn. The race was hotly contested with nine candidates running. Pashak won the open district on heavy vote splitting finishing just ahead of Progressive Conservative candidate Moe Amery to win his first term in office.

He ran for a second term in office in the 1989 provincial election. Pashak faced off for the second time against Amery. Both candidates increased their popular vote in the hotly contested race. Pashak defeated Amery and two other candidates by a much wider margin then in 1986 to return to office.

The electoral district of Calgary-Forest Lawn was abolished to redistribution in 1993. Pashak ran for re-election in the provincial electoral district of Calgary-East. For the third time in a row Pashak faced Amery. Amery’s vote surged in the new district while Pashak’s popular vote sank from the previous general election. Pashak finished a distant second out of five candidates. He has attempted to run for office since.

After defeat

Pashak briefly returned to the Alberta provincial political scene in 2000 to become leader of The Equity Party, a minor centrist political party in Alberta. He served in that role briefly and departed in 2001.

Pashak most recently endorsed Dave Taylor in his run for leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party.