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Conservative MP Rob Anders rises in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Wednesday September 26, 2012Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

In the end he never even showed up to hear the final results.

Calgary MP Rob Anders, whose controversies spanned the last 17 years, was beaten Saturday in this rural riding east of Calgary where he had hoped to resurrect his flagging political career.

Anders had sought the Conservative nomination in the new riding of Bow River, which covers a big swath of southern Alberta east of Calgary, including the communities of Strathmore, Brooks, Taber and Vauxhall.

He decided to make a second attempt after losing a bitterly fought battle in Calgary Signal Hill, which takes in a large part of the constituency of Calgary West that Anders represented for 17 years.

Former provincial cabinet minister Ron Liepert bested Anders in that race and will represent the Conservatives in the next election set for the fall of 2015.

Anders received permission to run for a second nomination. When he announced he was running he said there was still a lot of work to do in Ottawa including personal property and gun rights, cutting taxes and "family values that need to be fought for."

Anders was spotted outside the hotel where the voting took place Saturday morning but by the time the dust had settled he was nowhere to be found.

The mayor of the City of Brooks, Martin Shields, who had labelled Anders a "drop-in candidate", was named the winner.

"I'm absolutely humbled that I'm in this position and thankful for the people who believe in me," Shields told reporters immediately after the win.

"I believed there were strong candidates within the riding and that people had a great choice within the riding. If someone else comes in that's up to the voters to determine if that's a suitable candidate from outside," he added.

As for Anders' absence from the final results Shields just shrugged.

"So be it. It's their choice whether they're here or not. Three of us were," he said.

Shields recognized that Anders' entry into the race sparked a lot of public interest - particularly in the media. But he said that wasn't what won the nomination.

"I think there was interest sparked in the media but I think that the people in the communities that I talked to were interested if you knew about them," he said.

"When it came down to buying a membership and going to vote they wanted to look for someone who actually knew about their community."

Anders is known for his strong social conservative views and gained attention for his sometimes inflammatory statements, including his opposition to granting honorary citizenship to Nelson Mandela, branding the South African leader a communist and a terrorist.

He once compared the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Berlin Games, which were held when the Nazis governed Germany.

In 2012, Anders was dropped from the Commons veterans affairs committee after he lashed out at a veterans support group that had criticized him for falling asleep during a committee meeting. He later apologized for saying his critics were NDP "hacks."

David Taras, a political scientist from Mount Royal University, said Anders had a lot going against him coming into the riding including having already lost in Calgary and being from outside.

"He didn't have much political strength or clout or much of an organization," he said.

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