Edmonton MLA Hugh MacDonald to quit politics

Edmonton MLA Hugh MacDonald is quitting politics at the end of his term.

Edmonton MLA Hugh MacDonald is quitting politics at the end of his term.

"I just thought it was time," he told CBC News Tuesday. "I discussed it with my family and they're certainly comfortable with the decision."

MacDonald, 56, recently placed second to Raj Sherman in the Alberta Liberal Party leadership race.

Sherman finished with 55 per cent of the vote, while MacDonald won 26 per cent of ballots cast.

"The party made their decision and now I'm making my decision," he said. "Circumstances are different now and I'm moving on."

Sherman said he doesn't see MacDonald's departure as a sign that the party is in trouble.

"What we are united in is the fact that we need to change this government," he said. "So the leadership race was good for the Liberal party, and we have a lot of interest, and a lot of youth and a lot of energy."

Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman, who finished third in the leadership race, says she will run again in Edmonton Centre, but she admits she wrestled with the decision.

"You know, I'm really struggling to find what my place in the party and in the caucus is supposed to be," she said. "And I think we both got mixed signals when we were on the leadership campaign trail."

MacDonald has been the Liberal MLA for the Edmonton-Gold Bar riding for 14 years.

He said he intends to return to the oilpatch where he worked before entering political life.