Brian Jean 'is not the best man to lead': Fildebrandt takes parting shot as he bows out of UCP race
Strathmore-Brooks MLA says former Wildrose leader too focused on building his personal brand
Outspoken Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt is not seeking the leadership of the United Conservative Party but says the former Wildrose leader is wrong for the job.
Fildebrandt told reporters in Calgary on Tuesday there is already a "good field" of candidates in the running and he would not be adding his name to the list of leadership hopefuls.
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Brian Jean, former leader of the Wildrose Party, and Jason Kenney, former leader of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, have said they are running for the leadership of the new UCP.
Calgary lawyer Doug Schweitzer is also running for the leadership but has never held political office.
'He is not the best man to lead the party'
Fildebrandt said he has yet to endorse a candidate and will "remain neutral" but fired a few shots at Jean.
"I've had two and a half years to work with (Jean) and I've seen his leadership up close. I've got more than enough experience to make a very confident decision that he is not the best man to lead the party and lead Alberta," said Fildebrandt, who was elected as a Wildrose MLA in the 2015 provincial election.
"I've seen a leadership style that focused more on making the party about a single individual than a greater collective. I want a leader who is going to focus on building a party and building a team and not just promoting themselves and their own personal brand."
All in the family
Fildebrandt likened leadership races to a family squabble and said the UCP is likely to experience some "bumps and bruises" during the race.
"I think at the end of the day we'll be able to heal those wounds and come together as a party," said Fildebrandt, who is the UCP shadow minister of finance.
Fildebrandt, 31, was the Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation before starting his political career.