Grafftey drops out of Tory race

Heward Grafftey drops of out Tory leadership race, leaving five candidates.

Heward Grafftey has withdrawn from the race to lead the federal Progressive Conservatives for medical reasons. Five candidates remain on the ballot.

Grafftey, 74, had quintuple bypass surgery last week.

"For a short while I thought I could get to our convention in Toronto," the former cabinet minister said in a news release Thursday.

"My doctors have counselled me not to go."

Grafftey served in Joe Clark's cabinet in 1979. He ran for the Tory leadership in 1976 and finished last.

He is the second of seven leadership candidates to leave the race. Andr Bachand pulled out earlier this month and endorsed front-runner Peter MacKay, a Tory MP.

Federal Conservatives will pick a new leader to replace Clark, who is retiring, at a convention at the end of this month.

In addition to MacKay, the contenders are MP Scott Brison, Calgary lawyer Jim Prentice, environmentalist and nationalist David Orchard and Craig Chandler, a Christian lobbyist and business leader.