Jan. 28, 2011 — Global News , Calgary
CALGARY – The race is on. And Ted Morton is first out of the gate.
After resigning as Provincial Treasurer today, Morton announced that he strives to replace Ed Stelmach as premier.
“It is my intention to seek the leadership of our party upon the premier’s departure,” said Morton at a news conference this afternoon.But the race cannot formally begin until Stelmach offically resigns. The premier said he will wait to do this until the spring legislature wraps up, which could last until the first week of June.
Danielle Smith doesnt want to wait – she wants the leadership race to conclude so the election campaign can begin.
“I say ‘bring it on’. I have never been concerned about who the PC party decides to put up against me in Highwood,” said Smith. “I would welcome a robust discussion about ideas, thats what our party is about”.
As Global News reported earlier this week, some Tory supporters have been reaching out to Danielle smith, asking her and the Wildrose Alliance to rejoin them.
Today, Ted Morton put the offer to unite the two political parties back on the table.
“What the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta has in common with the Wildrose is more important than our differences,” said Morton.
“I have concerns about vote splitting, and my goal that has been stated repeatedly in public over the past six months, is to bring the two parties back together”.
Smith says she has no intentions of merging.
“I gather (Morton) figures he’ll win the leadership and I will just roll the party into the PCs,” she said today. “I think that is pretty delusional”.
A number of other MLAs have expressed interest in the position, but as of now, nobody has offically joined Ted Morton.
If it’s going to be a cabinet minister joining the leadership race, Stelmach insists they must also resign.