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Alberta’s finance minister passes on Tory leadership run

Alberta Minister of Finance Doug Horner salutes a member of the gallery after presenting the budget speech in the house of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton March 6, 2014.

DAN RIEDLHUBER/REUTERS

Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner says he won't seek the leadership of the governing Progressive Conservatives.

Horner was one of a handful cabinet ministers considering a run at the top job.

But in a statement, he says he's decided not to step forward after weighing his options with his family.

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"I am humbled by the encouragement and support I have received from many friends, colleagues, and constituents while arriving at this decision," he said.

"As I have said, I firmly believe that the right person to lead our party and our province going forward is someone who has the ability to bring our caucus together as a team, to unite our party, to earn the trust of Albertans, and to provide strong and thoughtful leadership."

There are two candidates officially in the race — former Infrastructure minister Ric McIver and former Municipal Affairs minister Ken Hughes.

Former federal MP Jim Prentice has a campaign team in place and is raising money but has yet to officially announce a run.

Tories will vote in September to replace Alison Redford, who resigned last month amid a caucus revolt.

Horner pledged his support to whoever wins.

"I am confident that the right candidate will emerge," he said. "I look forward to an exciting leadership race, and wish the best of luck to all candidates."

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