Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie says he has given zero consideration to running for the United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership at this point.
The local MLA was vocal in his opposition to Jason Kenney leading up to the leadership review vote that ended with Kenney resigning as party leader Wednesday night.
Guthrie says Kenney made the right choice. Should he have continued, the party would have remained divided.
"That wouldn't have been good for the party, that wouldn't have been good for MLAs, it wouldn't have been good to the conservative movement, so I am very happy that the premier did stand up and understand he would have needed a stronger mandate to continue."
"The premier has been in the business a long time, and he'd know full well that a number in the 50s was not going to be strong enough to stick around. I'm glad that he took the path that he did because we don't have a long time until the next election."
It wasn't only within the party that there was concern over Kenney's leadership. A ThinkHQ poll on Apr. 5 saw Kenney's public approval rate fall below 30 per cent.
Kenney isn't alone in stepping down from a leadership role in a governing party. Ralph Klein won four majority governments but near the end of his political career, questions began to arise. After securing 55 per cent in a leadership review in March 2006, he stepped down as leader later that year.
Nor has a strong endorsement from party members guaranteed a leader will continue. Both Ed Stelmach and Alison Redford had a 77 per cent approval rating in their last leadership reviews but later stepped down after running into trouble within their party ranks and with public opinion.
With the next provincial election 12 months away, Guthrie believes there's adequate time for the UCP to select a leader and build a strong campaign to battle the NDP.
"Now we have an opportunity to regroup," says Guthrie. "I believe and always have that we need to be a unified group moving forward, and now we can do that."
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