The competition to be Newfoundland and Labrador's next premier will heat up in the next two days, as two cabinet ministers unveil bids for the leadership of the governing Progressive Conservatives. 

Minister Paul Davis

Health Minister Paul Davis is said to have lined up support from some key Tories. (CBC)

Health Minister Paul Davis is expected to join the race on Wednesday. 

On Thursday, Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Kent will announce his candidacy. 

Last week, former cabinet minister John Ottenheimer became the first to enter the relaunched race, which was called after Corner Brook businessman Frank Coleman abruptly dropped his political aspirations on June 16. 

Coleman had been the last of three political outsiders who entered a race called in the winter after former premier Kathy Dunderdale resigned. Howley councillor Wayne Bennett was ejected after a party review found his behaviour had crossed several lines, and seafood processor Bill Barry dropped out before Easter, complaining that he was facing a "stacked deck" because the entire party brass appeared to be backing Coleman. 

Contacted Monday, Barry confirmed that he has decided to stay out of this leadership race, too. 

Davis, who will launch his campaign at a suppertime event in Paradise, is expected to have solid caucus support, including top party organizers including Environment and Justice Minister Terry French. 

Within 24 hours, Kent will formally kick off his campaign. Kent has been courting support from Tories, but had been holding off on an official launch until his third child was born. That occurred Monday morning. 

Kent already has the endorsement of David Brazil, the chair of the PC caucus. 

Nominations for the race close next Monday at noon. 

Both Davis and Kent will have to resign their cabinet posts to seek the leadership. Premier Tom Marshall has made that a condition for any ministers wanting to take part in the leadership. 

With files from David Cochrane