February 5, 2018 9:30 am

Cape Breton Mayor Cecil Clarke running for Tory leadership

Cape Breton Mayor Cecil Clarke has announced he is running for leader of the Nova Scotia PC Party.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality
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A prominent Nova Scotia mayor is throwing his hat in the ring for the leadership of the provincial Tories.

Cape Breton Mayor Cecil Clarke announced his intentions at a packed hall Saturday in North Sydney.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia mayor announces he’s gay, says someone threatened to expose him

The anticipated announcement came days after Clarke came out as gay, claiming that someone was threatening to out him.

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The 49-year-old politician first publicly spoke about his sexual orientation in a CBC interview, saying he didn’t want anyone thinking they could shame him or hold something over him.

Clarke says he’s exploring legal options in responding to the alleged threat.

READ MORE: Tim Houston, Rob Batherson among potential candidates for Nova Scotia PC leader

Clarke formerly served in the Progressive Conservative governments of former premiers John Hamm and Rodney MacDonald.

Jamie Baillie announced late last year that he planned to step down as Tory leader, but his departure came sooner than expected last month when he resigned following an allegation of inappropriate behaviour.

WATCH: Nova Scotia politicians react to Jamie Baillie dismissal

Details of the Tory’s leadership convention are expected to be announced later this month during the party’s annual general meeting.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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