TORONTO - Bob Runciman has been named interim leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

The veteran politician was already filling in for outgoing leader John Tory as Opposition leader in the legislature because Tory didn't have a seat.

Runciman will now take on all leadership duties until a new party leader is chosen.

Tory announced he would step down after losing a March 5 byelection in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock that went to Liberal Rick Johnson.

Tim Hudak is widely considered the front-runner in the undeclared contest, and Christine Elliott and Randy Hillier are also expected to make a bid.

Deputy party leader and former leadership hopeful Elizabeth Witmer says she's decided not to take another run at the top job.

A leadership convention may happen in June, and the next provincial election is 31 months away.