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Peter MacKay set to enter the Conservative leadership race today

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Peter MacKay will confirm that he is jumping into the Conservative leadership with a tweet later today, CBC News has confirmed.

MacKay is expected to formally launch his campaign late next week.

The tweet will publicly confirm work that has been going on behind the scenes for some time. MacKay has recruited former Conservative MP Alex Nuttall as his campaign manager. Michael Diamond, who ran Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s PC leadership campaign, is his director of communications.

MacKay will be running to lead the party he helped to create. He took the reins of the Progressive Conservative Party and quickly merged it with Stephen Harper’s Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative Party in 2003.

And he may well wind up running against a former political mentor, Jean Charest.

MacKay and MP Marilyn Gladu are the only Conservatives to date to formally signal leadership runs. Gladu is the only caucus member to publicly declare so far, but her colleagues Erin O’Toole and Pierre Poilievre are widely expected to announce soon.

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest is reportedly close to a decision on a possible leadership run, as is MP Michael Chong, who ran in 2017.

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