Jamie Baillie wouldn’t say whether he thought anyone would join him in the race to become the next leader of the provincial Tories.

If someone does, Baillie said he is open to the company.

“If there are others, I will certainly welcome them to the race and we will have a vigorous debate,” he told reporters after his campaign launch yesterday.

Karen Casey has been the interim leader of the Tories since former premier Rodney MacDonald stepped down after last spring’s election defeat that saw the party reduced to 10 seats.

Casey and former cabinet minister Chris d’Entremont have both stated they will not run for the party leadership.

The Tories’ leadership convention will take place Oct. 29 and 30 at the Cunard Centre in Halifax.

Potential candidates have until Aug. 14 to file their papers.