Karen Casey will not be running for the vacant leadership of the Progressive Conservative party.

Casey, named interim leader after Rodney MacDonald stepped down from the post following his defeat in last June’s provincial election, released a statement yesterday saying she would not be trying to take on her current role permanently.

“As weeks and months passed ... the speculation that I could be a potential candidate increased,” she said in her statement. “However, my commitment to the Progressive Conservative Party was to provide leadership until the next leader was chosen. I am doing that.
“I will not be declaring my candidacy for the position of leader.”

Casey was rumoured to be a strong candidate to run for the position. As leader she travelled around the province to each of the 52 ridings to help the party in its rebuilding process after coming out of the last provincial election with just nine members.

Over the last few weeks, Casey has come under fire from some over her handling of the MLA expense scandal, including not speaking out despite knowing Yarmouth MLA Richard Hurlburt admitted to expensing $8,000 on a home generator but didn’t immediately disclose his $2,500 TV purchase.

Casey is the second big name to announce she will not be running for the position at a leadership convention set for Halifax in October.

Two weeks ago, Halifax businessman Bill Black announced he would not seek the Progressive Conservative leadership this fall because he believes it would be an eight- to 12-year commitment, which is too much for him at this point.

Possible contenders

No one has declared publicly yet, but Credit Union Atlantic president Jamie Baillie is considering a run for the provincial Conservative leadership as is Argyle Tory member Chris d’Entremont.

– The Canadian Press

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