Andrew Scheer enters Conservative leadership race

Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer has made it official: he’s filed his papers and paid his first $25,000 registration fee to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

Ten MPs lined up behind him as he appeared in the National Press Theatre to launch his bid, a subset of the 20 MPs and senators he says are endorsing him. Of those, only one senator is not from Western Canada, but Scheer says his campaign enjoys support from across the country.

His campaign, he said, would focus on his ability to unite Conservatives around the kind of common goals that help them win elections. He declared himself “a real Conservative.”

“I cannot let Justin Trudeau do to my children what his father did to my generation,” he said.

The former Speaker of the House of Commons stepped down earlier this month from his role as Opposition House leader in order to get ready for his leadership bid.

Scheer, one of the few candidates in the race who is functionally bilingual, was born in Ottawa but has represented a Saskatchewan riding since 2004.

The contenders, so far

Candidate who has declared, registered and paid the full fee: Michael Chong.

Candidates who have declared and registered: Maxime Bernier; Tony Clement; Kellie LeitchDeepak Obhrai; Andrew Scheer.

Potential candidates who have declared only: Dan Lindsay; Pierre LemieuxAdrienne SnowBrad Trost.

Expected to declare soon: Chris Alexander; Steven Blaney.

Others who have mused about running but not declared: Kevin O’Leary; Erin O’Toole; Rick Peterson; Lisa Raitt.

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