Paul Dewar is the leadership candidate most likely to lead the NDP to government, Ontario MP Charlie Angus said as he threw his support behind the Ottawa MP.
Dewar announced earlier this week that Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan, the New Democrats' only MP in Alberta, was supporting his bid to replace former leader Jack Layton, who died of cancer Aug. 22.
Dewar says Angus would be his deputy leader if he wins the leadership race.
"There is no one more experienced in grassroots strategies and pragmatic policies than Charlie," Dewar said Friday.
"I decided what we have to do is form a solid team."
Angus, who was first elected in 2004 and represents Timmins-James Bay, Ont., joked he would be phoning Dewar to tell him what to do even if he hadn't accepted the role.
"This is a race about being the next prime minister of Canada," he said, adding Dewar is the person to lead the NDP to an election win.
"We have to form government in this country. [Continuing to be an opposition party] is not an option."
NDP members will vote on March 24 to choose the party's next leader. Eight candidates remain in the race.
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