McNaughton drops out of PC leadership race
TORONTO – The race to become leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party is down to just two candidates after London-area MPP Monte McNaughton withdrew today.
McNaughton threw his support behind Barrie MP Patrick Brown, who will now square off against deputy PC leader Christine Elliott, the widow of former finance minister Jim Flaherty.
McNaughton, who was a distant third in membership sales and fundraising, says Brown has “the energy and ability” to reform the Tories, who lost the last four Ontario elections.
Brown quickly took a shot at Elliott as the favoured candidate of the PC establishment, saying the race is now “a choice between the same old, same old, and a fresh start to rebuild the party.”
Brown surprised everyone by selling over 41,000 PC memberships, but the Elliott campaign say their support is much broader based across the entire province.
All PC party members are eligible to vote for the new leader on May 3 and 7, with the results to be announced at a convention in Toronto on May 9.
By The Canadian Press