ABOVE: Global Calgary’s Scott Fee speaks with Jonathan Denis about his decision to not run for leadership of the Alberta PC party.
CALGARY – Calgary MLA Jonathan Denis has announced he won’t be running in Alberta’s PC leadership race.
The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General issued a release on Sunday evening saying he made the decision after speaking with residents living in his riding of Calgary-Acadia.
“I have decided that I will not be standing as a candidate in the 2014 Progressive Conservative leadership race,” said Denis.
Instead, he chose to throw his support behind former MP Jim Prentice, who is poised to announce his bid in the coming weeks.
“Our team has heard from many Albertans who want a leader with a vision of smaller government, safer communities, and living within our means,” says Denis. “I believe Jim Prentice shares this perspective. I will be supporting him for leader of our party – and our next Premier.”
There is only one candidate who has formally announced his intentions to run in the race so far; Calgary MLA Ric McIver.
Finance Minister Doug Horner announced last week that he would not be vying for the job.
Meanwhile, sources say Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk will make his intentions known as soon as this week.
“I think that we have a serious race here. I’m not sure what Thomas Lukaszuk’s intentions are, but I’ve worked with him for a number of years,” explains Denis. “He has a lot of positive qualities.”
“On top of that, Ric McIver has already announced”, adds Denis. “I think Ric has a very strong record as a city councillor in Calgary but also as minister in a couple of departments. So, we have some high quality candidates running to become leader of this party.”
PC party members will vote for a new leader in September.