New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative party says it will elect a new leader in October, with an accountant from Edmundston as organizing committee co-chair.

The party says a leadership convention will be held in Fredericton on Oct. 26.
Fredericton West-Hanwell member Brian Macdonald, a former army officer and Department of National Defence adviser, has already announced his candidacy.
Macdonald was first elected to the legislature in 2010.

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PC Party President Jason Stephen emerged from a meeting of the party’s Provincial Council on Saturday to make the announcement. “This is a very exciting time for our PC party. This fall we will chose our next leader and proceed along the path of giving New Brunswickers an alternative to the present government."

Several other prominent Tories are still considering their own leadership bids. Potential leadership contestants includes Rothesay MLA Ted Flemming, Southwest Miramichi MLA Jake Stewart, Saint John Mayor Mel Norton and former Tobique-Mactaquac MP Mike Allen.

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Bruce Fitch has been serving as interim leader since David Alward stepped aside after the party lost to the Liberals in the 2014 provincial election.

A new committee was struck at the meeting held in Fredericton. The Leadership Election Organizing Committee will be co-chaired by Edmundston accountant Carole Caron and Saint John lawyer Nicholas Ouellette. It will be responsible for overseeing the organization and planning of the Convention and will administer a series of rules and processes that were also adopted by the party’s governing body.

Jason Stephen says the party will continue to employ the ‘one member, one vote’ system in choosing the next leader. Convention co-chairpersons, who will chair the October proceedings, will be announced at a later date.