Thursday, May 17, 2012

Statement on the Leadership Race

Earlier today, I announced that I will not be entering the race to lead the Liberal Party of New Brunswick.

I remain committed to raising the issues around jobs, equality of opportunity and social justice that my team believes are key to renewing our party and restoring hope for New Brunswick. It has been wonderful for everyone on the team to see the response to our ‘campaign of ideas’.

We came to the campaign determined to put ideas first, and to stay true to the principle that the identity of the next leader of our party wasn't as important as the urgent need to bring our party back to liberal values and its historic role as a voice for the underdog and an advocate for middle-class families.

Two things have contributed to my decision today.

First, having had a few weeks to campaign full out for the job, I am now convinced that my work and family commitments would make it very hard for me to put in the time needed for an all out, sustained campaign.

More importantly, the debates and events of the campaign have allowed me to feel confident that the ideas and values we’ve fought for have a home with one of the other campaigns.

Because of this, I am endorsing Mike Murphy for Leader of the Liberal Party of New Brunswick.

In the last weeks, it has become evident to me that Mike and I have been talking about similar issues – the need to bring our party back to liberal values, the importance of offering specific ideas and clear alternatives to the Alward government, and the imperative to have a party that is not run by backroom advisors.  He has made it clear that he supports many of the ideas our campaign has raised regarding jobs, poverty and the economy.

Mike has shown that he can be a champion of liberal values and he is committed to a renewed Liberal Party that is open, inclusive and responsive to people. I know Mike well and I have worked well with him in the past on many social justice issues and legislation. Mike has the ability and the determination to not just to win the next election, but also to lead a government that offers a real difference from the rudderless Alward government.

Only Mike has run with a commitment to making his ideas and values clear, and this gives Liberals confidence that he, and not the backrooms, will lead and be accountable to citizens and party members. I respect all three of the leadership candidates, but on clear ideas and proven experience, there is a decisive difference, and that difference favors Mike Murphy.

I want to thank all those party members, new and old alike, who joined this campaign to promote the new ideas in which we believe. I urge all those who have answered the call for a more progressive Liberal Party to join me in supporting the candidate who has made a clear commitment to Liberal principles and specific liberal ideas and policies - Mike Murphy.

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