Turns out the rumours are true. Our man Patrick Brown is considering taking a run for the top job with the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.
The Barrie MP confirmed as much in an email this week, saying he was thinking about tossing his hat into the ring. From this corner that seems a good move for him, as Patrick is one of those politicians who embodies the notion that all politics is local … and despite your political preferences, most observers of the local political scene would probably agree he is the most visible ‘local’ politician in the city. A move to the provincial scene fits with his talents for ‘local’ politics.
Presumedly this means that the seat he now holds will be up for grabs – that and the other new Barrie seat, giving the city two in the 2015 election. That will make for interesting times.
Brown most definitely comes from the progressive wing of the conservative base, and that’s just what the Ontario PCs need. It’s a background lost in the Harper government, where progressive seems to mean something else. As shown by the results of the June 12 election, most Ontarians would appear to have little appetite for the hard right menu Tim Hudak served. A more centrist leader might have resonated with voters, given the Liberals’ scandals and length of time in office. But Hudak turned out to be the gift that kept giving.
And even if he doesn’t win should he commit, his provincial profile will increase so that people outside Barrie will get to know him, and that’s not a bad development for future success. Seems like an astute career move.
Anyway, here’s Brown’s announcement in case you missed it.
I’m writing to tell you that I am considering a run for the leadership of the PC Party of Ontario.
This is a very difficult time for our party. We have lost four elections in a row. We have gone from the natural governing party to one that has forgotten how to win.
As MP for Barrie, I was able to win the seat from a sitting Liberal cabinet minister in 2006 and grow my margin of victory in every election since.
It’s time to win again. There is no other acceptable outcome. The stakes are too high.
As I consult with members, I wanted to let you know that my friends have set up a website: whypatrickbrown.com.
You can also follow them on Twitter: @DraftPatrick.
I urge you to visit the site to learn more about me and to offer any feedback you might have.
Should you have any questions, feel free to call me at 1-647-535-2986.
I look forward to speaking with you in person over the next few weeks.