Local MP Shipley Won't Miss CPC Candidate O'Leary

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The vote will be decided by a preferential ballot that redistributes second-place votes until there is a victor.

He also acknowledged his second ballot vulnerability: "Because I am an outsider, I have very weak second ballot support ..."

O'Leary, who has been attacked by opponents as a non-resident who prefers living in Boston, says he is the best man to deal with U.S. President Donald Trump and touts his experience as a negotiator. The ballots are ranked, with each voting member able to mark down their top 10 choices.

His support for Maxime Bernier, a former foreign affairs minister and free-market libertarian, may give him a big boost in a crowded race. "This can not be allowed to happen", O'Leary said Wednesday.

He skipped all the party's French-language candidate debates.

"Kevin O'Leary is a loser", Bernier said in a March 17 email to supporters, per CBC.

According to a release sent out on Wednesday afternoon, O'Leary made the strategic decision to bow out after realizing he could not secure the necessary support in Quebec to win the race.

The election for Conservative Party leader takes place May 27.

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There are 13 other contenders left in the crowded race to replace former Conservative leader Stephen Harper, who stepped down as party leader in November 2015 after losing the federal election to the Trudeau Liberals. Ballots bearing O'Leary's name have already arrived in the mailboxes of party members, amplifying the risk that Bernier won't reap all the benefits of his departure.

"It's for the sake of the party that I do this, and the country", he told the Globe and Mail. Bernier at one point called O'Leary a "loser", and each campaign more or less accused the other of voter fraud, though the allegations were never proven.

One concern cited by a number of MPs was O'Leary's inability to speak French.

O'Leary was considered the most well known candidate in the race even though he did not participate in a single candidate debate.

"I'm in a unique situation", O'Leary said.

There are multiple reports confirmed that O'Leary is making the announcement at a news conference later today.

O'Leary's campaign was predicated on bringing in a large influx of new members to compensate for his likely struggles among the Conservative Party's base, but the 35,000 he claimed to net represent just under 14 per cent of the total eligible electorate.

"Oh, he was critical during a campaign". "We had a nice competition and now we are together".