Another day, another Progressive Conservative Cabinet Minister gets scratched off the list of potential successors to Cathy Dunderdale.
Justice Minister Dr. Darin King, considered by many pundits to be the person to beat in this leadership race,announced yesterday that he will not be throwing his hat into the ring.
King's ambitions have been well known. Insiders claimed he had a well oiled machine and the support of much of caucus. His announcement came as a big surprise to man of the party faithful.
I had heard rumours last week that King was dealing with "family issues" that had the potential to derail a leadership bid at this time. I was disappointed to learn that those rumours were grounded in fact and that King would not be seeking his party's top job.
The Southern Gazette is reporting that, "he decided in recent weeks the timing is not right based on some family issues and concerns that have now taken a prominent role in his life for the foreseeable future." King and his wife, Colleen, have two children, Mitchell and Kate.
The Burin Peninsula native has stumbled some as Government House Leader. His failed attempt to humiliate NDP MHA Gerry Rogers over her membership in a Facebook Group last Spring, made the government look ill-informed, petty and mean.
However, on the whole he has adeptly handled a number of senior portfolios and is one of government's better communicators. At just 47, King offered the party a young face and a new generation of leaders.
He says he will seek re-election to a third term as the MHA for Grand Bank in the next general election. He becomes the third sitting cabinet minister to take a pass on the leadership.
Ministers Paul Davis and Keith Hutchens have both announced they will not seek the job. Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley and Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Kent are still considering their options.
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