PC leadership candidate Christine Elliott confirms she's considering Cambridge riding

PC leadership candidate Christine Elliott says she's considering the Cambridge riding as one of her many options.

Elliott says Cambridge reminds her of Whitby, the riding she formerly represented from 2007 to 2015

Christine Elliott, Ontario Progressive Conservative leader hopeful, spoke at the party's caucus in Waterloo. (Peggy Lam/CBC)

There's been a lot of speculation of Christine Elliott — who's currently gunning for leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party — running in the Cambridge riding for the upcoming provincial election in June.

At the party's caucus and gathering in Waterloo Tuesday evening, Elliott confirmed she's considering it, along with 30 other ridings that currently do not have a PC candidate. 

"I'm looking at a couple of ridings right now and I hope to make a decision very soon," she said. "I have to run somewhere where they want me and where I can make a meaningful contribution as an MPP." 

Elliott said she's considering Cambridge because of the "innovation" that's happening in the area. 

"Cambridge is a great riding, it reminds me, in some respects of Whitby ... In terms of the population growing really quickly," she said.

"It would be an area where I'd feel like I could make a contribution. I could study some of things that are happening here and bring that across the province."

'Takes longer than five minutes to understand'

A run in Cambridge would see Elliott take on incumbent and current Minister of Transportation Kathryn McGarry.

In a statement emailed to CBC News, McGarry said Elliott shouldn't think she can just walk into the riding and win.

"The PCs seem to think they can just parachute whomever they want from outside of Cambridge to run in the riding. I have proudly lived, worked and volunteered in Cambridge for 30 years and I know it takes longer than five minutes to understand what our city wants and needs," McGarry said.

On Tuesday night, CBC News also learned Tanya Khattra, a Calgary dentist seeking PC nomination for Cambridge, is no longer running. Khattra has recently been under fire for having tenuous ties to the community. 

Khattra said she will now throw "her full efforts" to support Elliott. 

In response, Elliott said she "appreciates support across the board." 

The first leadership debate takes place Thursday. It will be livestreamed on Twitter Periscope by TVO at 4 p.m., then will air on The Agenda with Steve Paikin at 8 p.m.

Candidates have until Friday to file their papers to run for leadership. The results of the PC leadership race will be announced on March 10. 

With files from Kate Bueckert


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