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Mayne drops out of BC Liberal leadership race, endorses Abbott

Candidate Ed Mayne who is hoping to win the leadership of the BC Liberals during a public forum in Vancouver, January 12, 2011.

JOHN LEHMANN/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Ed Mayne formally dropped out of the BC Liberal leadership race, endorsing "fellow small-town guy" George Abbott.

With just nine days until British Columbia's governing party picks its new leader, the race is down to four candidates.

The former mayor of Parksville, Mr. Mayne was an outsider to the party, a long-shot who didn't appear to have garnered much support during his five weeks in the race.

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He did encourage his team and supporters to follow Mr. Abbott.

"I truly believe we are going to affect the outcome of the race," he said, adding that he intends to seek a nomination in the next election.

"Ed is a good catch," Mr. Abbott said. "He's one of the people I want to go fishing with."

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