The contest to replace Stephen McNeil as leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal party and premier officially has a candidate.
Labi Kousoulis, former minister of labour and advanced education, launched his candidacy Wednesday in Halifax. He submitted his resignation from cabinet in the morning, according to a campaign spokesman.
Kousoulis, who represents the riding of Halifax Citadel-Sable Island, is the first candidate to vie for his party’s top job.
He was first elected in 2013 and previously served in cabinet as minister of internal services.
In a Wednesday news release, Kousoulis said former federal Liberal MP Mary Clancy and Halifax businessman Travis McDonough have joined his campaign as advisers.
A new leader will be chosen Feb. 6 to replace McNeil, who announced his resignation suddenly in August.
Candidates have until Oct. 9 to enter the race.
Kousoulis said the Liberal government has balanced budgets over the last seven years while building a stronger economy and continuing to fund key areas in health care, education and infrastructure.
“As leader, I will work to ensure we as Nova Scotians overcome this (COVID-19) pandemic and move forward together to bring our economy back on track, create more new jobs, and make new strategic investments in our essential programs and services,” said Kousoulis.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.