— Eric Hoskins, 51, jumped over dozens of Liberal backbenchers and straight into cabinet shortly after first being elected in a 2009 byelection in Toronto's St. Paul's riding. A medical doctor, Hoskins co-founded the charity War Child Canada with his wife, Samantha Nutt.
— Gerard Kennedy, 52, a former director of a Toronto food bank was education minister during the Liberals' first term, but left in 2006 for Ottawa and an unsuccessful bid for the federal Liberal leadership. He lost his seat in Parliament in the 2011 federal election, and is the only candidate who also ran for the provincial leadership in 1996 when McGuinty won.
— Glen Murray, 55, the former mayor of Winnipeg (1998-2004) jumped into cabinet shortly after he won a 2010 byelection in Toronto Centre, replacing former deputy premier George Smitherman. Murray's profile was raised in his most recent job as minister of colleges and universities as the Liberals offered 30 per cent rebates on tuition fees.
— Sandra Pupatello, 50, a key lieutenant for Dalton McGuinty in opposition held several cabinet posts after the Liberals won power in 2003, before resigning in 2011 to take a job in the private sector. The Windsor native is the only one of the seven candidates from outside the GTA.
— Charles Sousa, 54, a former executive with the Royal Bank Financial Group, had held the citizenship and immigration and labour portfolios since first being elected in 2007 in Mississauga-South. The Opposition says the Liberals cancelled a power plant under construction in Mississauga days before the 2011 election to save Liberal seats in the area, including Sousa's.
— Harinder Takhar, 61, was most recently minister of government services, but got into trouble in 2006 for breaking the Members' Integrity Act as transportation minister by visiting his family transportation business, which was held in a blind trust. Takhar represents Mississauga-Erindale, and launched his leadership bid on Facebook.
— Kathleen Wynne, 59, the former Toronto school trustee held several cabinet positions, including education, and most recently transportation, and never hid her leadership ambitions. Hers is considered among the best organized of the leadership campaigns.