COCHRANE — Jason Kenney will make an announcement on whether he’ll enter provincial politics in the “near future,” the Calgary MP said Wednesday.
Kenney, once a cabinet minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper, was long considered the front-runner to replace Harper as leader of the federal Conservatives.
“Stay tuned,” Kenney said, speaking to media in Cochrane, Alta., outside meeting hosted by Alberta Can’t Wait, which advocates for a unified conservative party in Alberta.
Numerous local conservatives were at the packed meeting hall in Cochrane’s Royal Canadian Legion, including former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, who crossed the floor to the PCs in December 2014 and wasn’t re-elected.
Also present at the meeting were Conservative MPs Blake Richards and Chris Warkentin, as was former MP Rob Anders.
Kenney, known for being a solid fiscal and social conservative, spoke to a room of mostly white, middle-aged supporters. He called them “severely normal Albertans,” invoking the words of Ralph Klein, the beloved former premier.
“This is Rachel Notley’s worst nightmare,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience.
The audience applauded heavily after one audience member asked Kenney to run for the PC leadership, with some briefly chanting Kenney’s name.
Rumours Kenney would enter the Progressive Conservative leadership race began circulating this month.
The PCs will choose a new leader next spring, and set the rules and dates for such later this week. No candidates have stepped forward so far.