Doug Schweitzer won't run for leadership of United Conservative Party or seek re-election
'I have been truly honoured and humbled at the support I have received'
Minister Doug Schweitzer says he will not be in the running to become the next leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party and he won't seek re-election next year.
Schweitzer — Alberta's Jobs, Economy and Innovations minister and MLA for Calgary-Elbow — made the announcement in a statement posted on Twitter Monday night.
After eight years in provincial politics, Schweitzer said he will step away from the legislature to spend more time with his family.
"Over the past few days, I have been truly honoured and humbled at the support I have received for a potential candidacy to run for the leadership of the United Conservative Party and become Alberta's next premier," he said.
"However, after much consideration, I have made the decision to not run for leader of the UCP or seek re-election as the MLA for Calgary-Elbow."
Schweitzer, who finished third in the first UCP leadership race in 2017, served as Premier Jason Kenney's justice minister before taking on the jobs portfolio in 2020.
Kenney announced last week that he will resign as UCP leader after garnering the support of just 51.4 per cent of party members in a leadership review.
Kenney will remain Alberta's premier until a new party leader is elected and sworn into office.
Schweitzer said he will remain in cabinet until a new leader is in place.
Brian Jean, the former Wildrose Party leader and current UCP MLA for Fort McMurray-Lac la Biche, has previously stated his desire to run for party leadership. He confirmed last Wednesday, after Kenney announced his resignation, that he intends to do so.
Danielle Smith, also a former Wildrose Party leader, has also previously expressed interest in the role and is planning a campaign.
Other possible contenders include Kenney cabinet ministers Travis Toews, Sonya Savage, Jason Nixon and Rajan Sawhney.
There is no timeline yet for the leadership race.
The next provincial general election date is set for May 29, 2023.