Rajnish Kumar "Raj" Sherman (born September 1, 1966) is an Alberta politician and current Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Edmonton-Meadowlark, formerly as a Progressive Conservative. On March 15, 2011, Sherman declared his candidacy for the leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party. He was elected leader of the Liberal Party on September 10, 2011.
Sherman was born in India but grew up in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia after moving there in 1975. As a youngster, he delivered newspapers for The Vancouver Sun and The Province. The third of four sons, Sherman moved to Canada from India at a young age. He moved to Edmonton in the early 1980s to attend the University of Alberta. He graduated from faculty of medicine in 1990, specializing in family and emergency medicine. In addition to being a doctor, Sherman was also a clinical lecturer at the University of Alberta and president of the Emergency Physicians of Alberta within the Alberta Medical Association.
Sherman first sought public office in the March 2008 provincial election in the constituency of Edmonton-Meadowlark. The seat was left vacant after incumbent Liberal MLA Maurice Tougas retired. Sherman won the riding comfortably by 2,752 voters over his closest rival, Liberal Debbie Cavaliere. After his election, he was named parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Ron Liepert.
He also serves as a member of the Standing Committee on Health and the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing. He works as an emergency room doctor on Sundays.
In November 2010, Sherman criticized the government for emergency room wait times in Alberta. He was suspended from the Progressive Conservative caucus and sat as an independent MLA. The following spring, he announced his intention to seek the Alberta Liberal Party leadership. At the 2011 leadership convention, he was elected on the first ballot.In the 2012 Alberta election, Sherman was successful in retaining his seat of Edmonton-Meadowlark with 35.5% of the vote, this time as a member of the Liberal Party.
He defeated PC candidate Bob Maskell by 118 votes (0.8%). In the election, the Liberals fell from Official Opposition to third party status behind the PC's and Wildrose. Despite losing almost 17% of the popular vote in a very hotly contested election, the vote was concentrated in enough ridings to retain 5 of their previous MLA's and keep ahead of the NDP. The Liberals lost Edmonton-Riverview, Edmonton-Gold Bar and Calgary-Varsity to the Progressive Conservatives due to tactical votingand the retirement of the incumbent MLA's. Sherman has been credited with keeping the Liberals in the legislature and also in a relevant position.
Sherman has coached soccer and basketball, served as the director for the Society of Helping Lives in Poverty, and is a past member of the McKernan housing community
. He received a gold pin for his service with STARS and a bronze medal from the Alberta Northwest Lifesaving Society. In his spare time, Sherman enjoys sports, travel and the arts.