The three candidates eliminated on the first-ballot vote to choose the next leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives have all announced their support for front-runner Gary Mar. Carrying 40% of the vote on the first-ballot, it is understandable why the three would endorse the front-runner in terms of both personal political calculation and party unity.
Scattering a little differently, the group of MLAs who supported the three eliminated candidates have begun to throw their support among the remaining candidates.
The only MLA to follow Dr. Morton’s lead into Mr. Mar’s camp is St. Albert MLA Ken Allred. It has been speculated that Housing Minister and Calgary-Egmont MLA Jonathan Denis may endorse Mr. Mar this week. (UPDATE: Minister Denis has endorsed Mar).
Including Minister Denis, there remain five MLA supporters of Dr. Morton who have yet to throw their support behind any of the top three candidates (as far as I am aware). Those remaining MLAs are Livingstone-Macleod MLA Evan Berger, Highwood MLA George Groeneveld, Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview MLA Tony Vandermeer, and Edmonton-Manning MLA Peter Sandhu.
Meanwhile, Dr. Morton’s campaign manager Sam Armstrong, remained critical of Mr. Mar’s candidacy. Mr. Armstrong told the Calgary Herald in an interview that:
“It’s the same old, Old Boys’ Club around Gary that’s been there forever”
Mr. Orman’s endorsement of Mr. Mar was also not enough to convince his campaign manager Patrick Walsh to come along. Mr. Walsh is now supporting Ms. Redford’s campaign.
Check out the Alberta PC Leadership page on this blog to track MLA support for candidates on the second ballot.