Michelle McHale quits Manitoba NDP leadership race

Michelle McHale is dropping out of the Manitoba NDP leadership race.

McHale: 'I wish Wab and anyone else seeking the leadership all the best'

Michelle McHale, organizer of the first Pride march in Steinbach, Man., in July 2016. (The Canadian Press)

Michelle McHale is dropping out of the Manitoba NDP leadership race. 

McHale announced her departure from the race to replace Greg Selinger in an email Saturday, citing personal health concerns. 

"This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, but after taking some time to reflect and talk to my family, I know I need to put my health first right now," McHale said in an emailed statement. 

"I hope the party and its current and future members find a leader who will unify and strengthen our party, and help us be a progressive voice for all Manitobans," said McHale, a staff representative at the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

"We need to acknowledge the reasons why members stepped away from the party, then we can actively grow our tent with new members, and I look forward to being a part of that effort,"

McHale was the first candidate to announce her intention to seek the leadership in March. 

Fort Rouge MLA Wab Kinew has since entered the race. 

"I wish Wab and anyone else seeking the leadership all the best," McHale said in the statement. 

She is not ruling out a run for politics in the future.

Selinger stepped down as party leader following the NDP's loss in the April 2016 election.

Flor Marcelino is currently acting as interim leader for the party.

The NDP leadership election will take place in September, though an exact date has not yet been set.