EDMONTON – MLA Ric McIver says he’s staying in the race to be the next leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative (PC) party despite reports that he’s being pressured to drop out.
“My intention is to see this contest through the end and become the next leader of the Progressive Conservative party and the next premier of this province should I be fortunate enough to win,” said McIver on Tuesday morning.
Asked whether there is a movement within the PC party to bypass a race and appoint former federal MP Jim Prentice – who has yet to officially announce his candidacy – to the position, McIver would only say there is always “gamesmanship” in a political race.
“I know that there’s people who would prefer everybody but their candidate drop out and they’re talking. But, again, I’ve been focused on talking to Albertans and they really are more interested in talking about the future of this great province.”
MLA Ken Hughes announced on Monday he is no longer running for leadership of the party, instead endorsing Prentice.
“After listening to many Albertans, it became clear there is a growing consensus that Jim Prentice is the leader Alberta needs now,” explained Hughes.
Justice Minister Jonathan Denis has also announced he won’t be running and has endorsed Prentice.
However, McIver feels it’s important there is a race rather than someone being appointed leader, which he says is the reason he’s focusing on the issues important to Albertans.
“They want to know when their government makes a decision, they make it on behalf of those 4.1 million hard working Albertans and not on government insiders, and that’s where I’m going.”
There’s speculation Prentice will launch his leadership bid on Thursday, which is the day the race officially begins.
The PC party is to vote on a new leader in September.
© Shaw Media, 2014