Glen Murray quits Liberal leadership race, backs Kathleen Wynne
Glen Murray dropped out of the Liberal leadership campaign Thursday and backed rival Kathleen Wynne.
“What Glen and I have talked about is that it’s very important that he be part of my team and that he play a senior role in my cabinet,” Wynne said following the announcement. “I need his ideas.”
Murray said he had simply come to the conclusion that Wynne — whose campaign has signed up the most new party members and has the most delegate candidates running — was the best choice to be the next premier of Ontario and Liberal party leader.
“All seven of us will tell you that this is a big mountain that we’re climbing and I’m quite happy to help someone get a leg up rather than just climb it by myself,” Murray said.
The Toronto-Centre MPP, former cabinet minister and one-time mayor of Winnipeg threw a ton of ideas and policy proposals into the race but has struggled to attract support and has just one caucus colleague — Oakville’s Kevin Flynn — behind him.
At Wednesday night’s debate at the Old Mill in Etobicoke, Murray drew laughs and loud applause when he made a blatant appeal for money and votes.
“I’ve tapped out all my friends,” Murray said.
But Thursday he said his fundraising was going well and that he still had money in the bank to finance his run.
Wynne, the MPP from Don Valley West, is widely believed to be the frontrunner in the race to succeed Dalton McGuinty. Liberal riding associations around the province will hold delegate selection meetings this weekend, ahead of the Jan. 25-27 convention at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Besides Wynne, still in the running are Eric Hoskins, Gerard Kennedy, Sandra Pupatello, Charles Sousa and Harinder Takhar.
“I want to thank and congratulate Glen and his entire team on running a strong campaign,” Sousa said in a statement. “He brought passion, ideas and enthusiasm to the race and has been a strong member of our caucus and cabinet since first joining us at Queen’s Park.”
Do you think Kathleen Wynne is the one to beat in this race?