Elliott confirms run for PC leadership; Sources say Mulroney, Phillips will also make bid
Sandie Benitah, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, February 1, 2018 3:35PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 1, 2018 8:34PM EST
Political newcomer Caroline Mulroney will launch a run for the leadership of the Ontario PC party in the coming days, a campaign source tells CP24.
This comes just as Christine Elliott, a former MPP, confirmed her intention to run for the leadership.
A campaign source also confirmed to CTV News that Rod Phillips will also join the leadership race. Phillips, who is the current chair of Postmedia, was chief of staff to former mayor Mel Lastman and was also the head of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming. He is running for the Tories in the upcoming election in the Ajax-Pickering riding.
The source says Mulroney has significant support from caucus and candidates who think she is the only one who can beat Kathleen Wynne.
Mulroney obtained her undergraduate degree from Harvard and a law degree from New York University before gaining experience in public service as both a member of the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority and co-founder of 'The Shoebox Project,' an initiative that helps women in shelters by providing them toiletries.
Before Mulroney can officially run for the leadership, she has to get 100 signatures from people supporting her bid. Those forms are going out this evening.
Mulroney, who is the eldest child child of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, is already the nominated PC candidate for the riding of York-Simcoe.
She tweeted her support for Elliott Thursday evening.
We need more strong women like @celliottability in politics. Great to see her in the race, looking forward to working with her and candidates across the province to take back Ontario from Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals. #onpoli— Caroline Mulroney (@C_Mulroney) February 2, 2018
Elliott, who represented the ridings of Whitby-Ajax and Whitby Oshawa between 2006 and 20015, made the announcement Thursday afternoon on social media.
She tweeted “I’m in,” just after 4 p.m., putting to rest speculation about her interest in a position she has sought twice before.
Elliott, who was married to federal finance minister Jim Flaherty until his death in April 2014, ran for the party's leadership for the first time in 2009 but lost the race the Tim Hudak.
She ran again in May 2014 but lost to Patrick Brown. She left politics a few months later in August and became the province's first ombudsman for patients in July 2016.
Patrick Brown was forced to step down from his role as leader on January 25 after two women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Brown has denied any wrongdoing in both cases.
Phillips said this is an ‘exciting time’ for the party while speaking with CP24 on Thursday.
“I think we’re looking at a situation where we are going to have a lot of candidates and be talking to Conservatives about who can unify this party and beat Kathleen Wynne,” he said. “It’s an exciting time because the party has a position now to get rid of a Liberal government that’s been here for 15 years.”
“Now we’re going to get a whole new chance to get a whole new discussion.”
Phillips did not confirm himself that he intends to run for the position.