EDMONTON- Former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel is throwing his support behind PC leadership candidate Jim Prentice.
The pair announced the endorsement Monday morning in downtown Edmonton.
They say they developed a close friendship while Prentice was serving as a federal cabinet minister.
“Of all the people I worked with across Canada, one of my best friendships that I develped during that time was with Mayor Mandel,” said Prentice.
Edmonton’s former mayor said he feels Prentice is the best person to understand the unique problems cities face.
“He is a Progressive Conservative – and ‘progressive’ is really the most important word,” said Mandel. “We are a city that’s a very progressive city, and we need someone at the helm of this province who will bring great vision and great opportunity for all of us.”
“I think that Jim is a Progressive Conservative, I think much of the Wildrose is libertarian. They look for elimination of government and their role within the city, within the cities and the provinces.
“I think it’s vitally important that the government plays a role.
“Many people are in need and structures need be in place, they need to be governed and managed. I think Jim will bring that kind of skill and that kind of leadership to the role as Premier and make sure everyone gets treated equally and fairly.” (Read the full news release about the endorsement below).
Mandel resigned as mayor in 2013, after leading the city for nearly a decade.
In the early days of the current Alberta PC leadership race, he had been rumoured to be considering a run. However, after weeks of speculation Mandel announced on Twitter he would not seek the leadership.
A recent poll shows Prentice as the front-runner in the race. All but a handful of the Tory caucus is endorsing the 57-year-old former Calgary MP and cabinet minister.
Three candidates are vying to become leader of the Progressive Conservatives and Premier of Alberta: Jim Prentice, Thomas Lukaszuk and Ric McIver.
McIver and Lukaszuk were both cabinet ministers under former Premier Alison Redford, but recently left their portfolios to run for the leadership.
Monday night they outlined their priorities at a PC event in Edmonton.
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