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Todd Smith puts family first over cost-prohibitive bid for PC leadership

Todd Smith

Prince Edward Hastings MP Todd Smith has announced he will not seek leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party.

Announcing on Facebook late Thursday afternoon, Smith said costs are prohibitive and his priority remains with his family.

“Leadership campaigns often result in candidates assuming a substantial burden of personal debt that takes years to pay off. The fees established by the party executive last night are simply too high,” Smith said. “My priorities have always been my children. Next year my eldest begins university and, as a father, I simply cannot allow anything to compromise her focus on this. My wife and I raised two truly remarkable young women that I am proud of every single day.”

Candidates have to pay a $100,000 ($25,000 refundable) entry fee as well as another $25,000 to access the party’s membership list and a $750,000 spending cap.

Smith said he was thankful for “thousands” of messages from Ontarians who called, emailed and messaged encouragement to take on the leadership.

“I thank all of them for their support. I thank them for saying that I would be a good leader or a good Premier. But being a good father is so much more important to me than either of those things.”

Smith did not indicate who he will support for leadership yet, but noted he looks forward to meeting and speaking with prospective candidates to hear them out on their vision for both the PC Party and the province.

He supported Christine Elliott in the 2016 race that elected Brown.

“I understand the arguments provided by those saying they believe the party needs a female leader at this time. One of the many reasons I supported Christine Elliott in the last leadership race was because of the incredible role model she was, and still is, for my girls.

“But I want the best person for the job, period. I want the person who is going to continue the work (interim leader) Vic Fedeli is doing right now. I want a person who aspires to service, integrity and selflessness.

“I did not make this decision lightly. There were several very real scenarios my team had put together where I would be making a very different announcement this Friday.

My priorities are in the right place. I have to be in the legislature every day holding Kathleen Wynne to account on behalf of the thousands of Ontarians for whom the same dream that brought me to Ontario is now simply out of reach. ”

Elliott announced late this afternoon she will join the leadership race. Caroline Mulroney, daughter of the former prime minister, is expected to launch her bid in the next few days. Former Toronto councillor Doug Ford announced his intention to run on Monday.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. wevil says:

    smart move Todd

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