After decades as a Tory cabinet minister Lyle Oberg has made the decision to throw his support behind the Wildrose Alliance. Oberg is on hand to introduce party leader Danielle Smith at a dinner function for 700 people in south Edmonton Wednesday evening.

"A lot of excitement, a lot of building, a lot of fresh ideas, I think that's what the Wildrose Alliance is all about," said Oberg.

Oberg, a medical doctor, was first elected as an MLA in 1993 before running for leadership of the PC Party in 2006. He finished fourth on the first ballot, and roughly 3,000 votes less than Ed Stelmach, who he later endorsed.

Oberg is the last finance minister to deliver a balanced budget. He left politics in 2008.

The premier is now making light of Oberg's sudden return to the scene.

"It's a little bit of political theatrics, but we're moving ahead," said Stelmach.

Oberg is expected to serve as an adviser for Smith, and will steer her through the next election.

"His expertise and in helping to assist us as we're developing our legislative agenda and policy agenda is going to be invaluable," said Smith.

He insists he will not be running in the election.

"I would sooner help behind the scenes than run for MLA at this point," he said.

With files from Sean Amato