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Adil Shamji steps down from Ontario Liberal leadership race to support Bonnie Crombie

Adil Shamji is dropping out of the race for leader of the Ontario Liberals and will support Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie instead.

"From the very beginning, I have known that with four spectacular candidates in the race and myself, only one can come out as leader of our party. Today, I acknowledge that this leader will not be me," Shamji said in a statement on Thursday, announcing his withdrawal from the contest.

The MPP for Don Valley East announced in July he would add his name to the ballot to run for leader of the party, with a platform focusing on health care, housing affordability and education.

When Shamji reflected on why he wanted to run for leader, he said it was because he wanted to fight "for all of us on the biggest scale and the biggest stage imaginable."

"And I know that my reach, for the time being, is only so far," Shamji said.

Speaking to CP24 Thursday evening, Shamji said he sees joining forces with Crombie as a victory.

"I'm an emergency physician by profession. I came to politics to make the biggest impact that I can have, and to me there's a different definition of victory  -- one that sees policie and ideas under leadership of capable individuals that can improve the lives on Ontarians," Shamji said.

"For me, it's about making the greatest impact in helping the most number of people possible and so that's what ... makes me confident that this, in fact, is the right decision under the competence, compassion and capability of Bonnie Crombie."

In a statement to CTV News Toronto Thursday, Crombie said she is "thrilled" to have Shamji's support.

"He is a brilliant and dedicated MPP who brought both his intellect and empathy to Queen's Park and this leadership race," Crombie said.

"Adil and I agree that Doug Ford's government has got to go in 2026. And we need every Liberal pulling in the same direction to make that happen."

Outside of Crombie, the remaining candidates are federal Liberal legislators Yasir Naqvi and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, and provincial lawmaker Ted Hsu.

Party members are set to vote for their new leader late November, with the results revealed on Dec. 2.

Throughout the election, the Liberals said it plans to host five debates across the province. While Thunder Bay, Ont. 's already passed, the next one is set to take place in Stratford, Ont. on Oct. 1, followed by Toronto's on Oct. 24. Top Stories


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