Tim Houston, Rob Batherson among potential candidates for Nova Scotia PC leader
Three Progressive Conservative MLAs say they are considering running in the race to replace Jamie Baillie.
Baillie announced on Wednesday that he will step down as leader once the Progressive Conservatives elect a new one. No date has been set for the leadership convention.
Pictou East MLA Tim Houston says he is “seriously” considering entering the race. If he does, Sackville-Beaver Bank MLA Brad Johns told Global News he’s ready to endorse Houston for leader.
Kings North MLA John Lohr and Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster both say they are also considering entering the race.
Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane told Global News in an email that she’s not planning to enter the race “at this point in time.” But she added that she’s received many encouraging messages and that “Nova Scotia is ready for a woman.”
Long-time MLA Chris d’Entremont echoed that sentiment.
“It would be great to have a woman,” he said Thursday. Citing MacFarlane, Queens-Shelburne MLA Kim Masland, and Cumberland-North MLA Elizabeth Smith McCrossin as potential contenders.
“They’re all people that I think could take the helm of the party, and I think we might be ready for a female leader,” he said.
Former Progressive Conservative party president Rob Batherson said he is also considering entering the race. He came in third place when he ran as a candidate in the May election but he said that won’t be what deters him.
“I’ve been involved in the party in various leadership roles over the last 20 years,” he said. “I have a good sense of the province, I have a good sense of the issues and the reality is in five weeks we were able to increase our vote in Halifax Citadel Sable Island by 40 per cent.”
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Former cabinet minister and Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke is also seen as a potential contender. He did not reply to a request for comment.
Progressive Conservative MLAs Keith Bain, Pat Dunn, and Eddie Orrell all said they are not going to run for the leadership. Rookie MLAs Kim Masland and Tim Halman said they don’t plan to run but both added: “never say never.”
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