Raitt Likely to Seek Tory Leadership

CBJ — Conservative MP Lisa Raitt from Oakville, Ontario is stepping down from her role as finance critic to “continue discussions on the future leadership” of her party.

The development suggests Raitt is inching closer to announcing her intention to run for the Tory leadership as the rules of the race forbid candidates from holding such roles.

Raitt, who is a former cabinet minister, made her announcement on Twitter.

The current candidates in the Conservative leadership race are MPs Maxime Bernier, Andrew Scheer, Kellie Leitch, Michael Chong, Deepak Obhrai and Brad Trost. If Raitt were to enter the race it’s expected she and Bernier would be the initial frontrunners.

It’s not yet known if other high-profile names such as Tony Clement will make a bid.  Interim leader Rona Ambrose could also run, although she has not indicated that she will.

MP Erin O’Toole is also going to throw in a bid to run as will MP Chris Alexander.

The first leadership debate is to take place Nov. 10 in Saskatoon.

Conservatives will elect their new leader next May 27.