Longtime Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner has stepped back from her role as national co-chair of Patrick Brown’s Conservative Party of Canada leadership campaign and is mulling a bid for Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership. 

In a thread posted to Twitter on Jun 15, Rempel Garner announced that she would be shifting her focus from the federal Conservative leadership to the UCP leadership race.

Rempel Garner says she has been encouraged to run in the UCP leadership race and is seriously considering running. 

“In recent weeks, I have been encouraged to seek the leadership of the United Conservative Party. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly by anyone,” she wrote. 

“Alberta is – and always has been – my top priority. Today, I can confirm that I am giving a provincial leadership bid serious consideration. I owe it to Albertans to give this critical decision my full and complete attention.”

Rempel Garner says that her focus is on stopping the Trudeau government, which is “hostile to Alberta’s interests,” and stopping the Alberta NDP from forming government in Alberta’s 2023 general election.

Instead, Rempel Garner insisted Alberta needs a leader that sees the province as an exciting, compassionate, and inclusive place while embracing freedom and human rights. 

The Patrick Brown campaign has been shedding support from federal MPs in recent weeks.

Despite the Brown campaign claiming to have signed up over 150,000 new Conservative members, Brown lost the endorsements of Dufferin—Caledon MP Kyle Seeback and Flamborough—Glanbrook MP Dan Muys to rival Pierre Poilievre.

The sole MP to support Brown’s campaign is Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte MP Doug Shipley. 

The number of candidates running for the UCP leadership continues to grow.

Frontrunners for the UCP leadership include former leader of Alberta’s Wildrose party and radio host Danielle Smith, prominent Jason Kenney critic Brian Jean, and former finance minister Travis Toews.

Other candidates who have thrown their names into contention include former Kenney cabinet minister Leela Aheer, children’s services minister Rebecca Schulz, UCP MP Todd Loewen, and transportation minister Rajan Sawhney.

The UCP leadership campaign will be much shorter than the federal Conservative leadership race, as the deadline to enter the race is July 20th, while ballots will be mailed out on Sept 3, and UCP members will select a new UCP leader on Oct 6.