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MP Niki Ashton joins NDP leadership race

MP Niki Ashton wants to lead the federal NDP.
MP Niki Ashton wants to lead the federal NDP.

OTTAWA – Manitoba MP Niki Ashton has announced her entry into the NDP leadership race, bringing the number of candidates to four.

Ashton also ran in the 2012 campaign to succeed the late Jack Layton.

Three other MPs are also seeking to lead the NDP: B.C.’s Peter Julian, Ontario’s Charlie Angus and Quebec’s Guy Caron.

READ MORE: Who will replace Tom Mulcair as NDP leader? It could be a crowded field

The candidates are set to debate each other for the first time in Ottawa on Sunday, but the race does not end until October.

WATCH: Mulcair says he has ‘options on the table’ but will remain NDP leader until the fall

Mulcair says he has ‘options on the table’ but will remain NDP leader until the fall
Mulcair says he has ‘options on the table’ but will remain NDP leader until the fall

Ontario deputy NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is still eyeing a possible leadership bid, but his office says he is not planning to make his plans known this week.

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Some of the central challenges for the party include the need to confront a $5.8 million debt and to boost the number of card-carrying supporters, which was down to 60,000 as of December.