This will raise significant questions for the Patrick Brown campaign, as they lost their national co-chair (Rempel Garner), and campaign manager for a campaign that didn’t end up taking place.
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner has declined to enter the race for leader of the Alberta United Conservative Party.
In a statement, Rempel Garner said she felt it would be best for her to stay in her current role as a Member of Parliament.
Here’s part of what she said:
“It would be an incredible honour and privilege to be Premier of Alberta. I am so tempted to do this. The polls say I have a real shot at getting it done and I’ve received a lot of support. But given everything, I think Albertans would be better served if right now I stayed in the important role they’ve already given to me, and if I respected the UCP caucus in giving it the space it needs to figure its stuff out.
This has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I will wonder about it for a long time. But I’m self aware enough to know it’s the right choice.
I also know I have to take responsibility because I’m far from perfect myself. In this work environment, I too have found myself getting angry when I couldn’t break through to the central leadership establishment or when crazy things happened. But I’ve also been on the receiving end of the worst of it, and it is no joke. I want to fix this, but from the role I’m currently in.
I’m also extremely optimistic that there are incredible opportunities that lie ahead for Albertans and for the next Premier. I’m excited to fight for these things to come to pass.”
Questions for the Patrick Brown campaign
What makes this news stunning is that just yesterday Patrick Brown lost his campaign manager Sean Schnell who left to help with Rempel Garner’s campaign.
A campaign that isn’t happening.
Rempel Garner herself had left her role as Brown’s national co-chair to consider the UCP leadership run.
Brown has also lost two of his four CPC caucus endorsers, when two MPs switched to Poilievre.
All of this looks awful for the Brown campaign.
Even if Rempel Garner and Schnell return to the Brown campaign, the fact that they left in the first to consider a run that didn’t end up happening seemed to demonstrate a significant lack of confidence in the direction he was going.
And, if they don’t return, many will feel – fairly or not – that they were looking for a convenient way to get out of his campaign and distance themselves.
That wouldn’t be a big surprise, as Rempel Garner could likely see that Brown’s increasingly-unhinged attacks on Pierre Poilievre were not well-received among Canadian Conservatives.
Now, the Brown campaign will face even more questions going forward, with negative momentum and a sense that people don’t want to be associated with his leadership bid.