George Takach, the Toronto lawyer who advocated for a digital economy during Liberal leadership campaign, has withdrawn from the race and is supporting Justin Trudeau.
Takach, who recently wrote in his website that the "last thing the Liberal Party of Canada needs is another coronation. What we need is a real race," tweeted his thanks to his volunteers and his wife, Barb, on Monday and announced he was leaving the contest, leaving eight candidates competing to be party leader.
"Justin has the strength to lead a movement that can connect with Canadians from all walks of life, regions and communities," Takach said in a statement. "I share Justin's vision of empowering Canadians through access to education and entrepreneurial opportunities."
He added that he intends to run for the Liberal party in the 2015 election, and that he feels "Canada's transformation from a resource-based economy to a digital one is now a central issue."
Takach did not give a clear reason why he's leaving the campaign, although a crucial date is approaching on March 3 when all potential voters in the supporter category must be signed up. The leadership will be decided April 14.
'Geeks for George'
In a statement Trudeau replied: "I want to thank George Takach for his support and his commitment to Canada. He has brought forward new ideas in this campaign and through exciting initiatives such as 'Geeks for George,' brought new people into the political process."
Takach, who had never run for political office before, elicited some boos from the audience during the last leadership debate when he chided Vancouver MP and candidate Joyce Murray for running a tree-planting business that he suggested was a waste of time for students as a summer job, and compared it to a house-painting enterprise he ran when he was a student.
In one debate, Takach got into a friendly argument with former astronaut Marc Garneau about who could legitimately call himself the science candidate.
Takach described himself as the son of poor immigrants who rose to become a successful technology lawyer. During the campaign he pushed strongly for a Canadian digital bill of rights that would guarantee internet access and ensure freedom from surveillance not authorized by a court of law.
Takach's website is now promoting a Trudeau fundraiser in New Brunswick on Tuesday.