02/09/2012 06:53 EST | Updated 02/09/2012 08:22 EST

NDP Leadership: Romeo Saganash Pulls Out Of Race To Replace Jack Layton


NDP MP Romeo Saganash has pulled out of the race to replace Jack Layton as NDP leader.

The MP for Abitibi-Baie James-Nunavik-Eeyou will make a formal announcement in his riding Friday morning.

Insufficient funds and competing demands on his time contributed to Saganash's decision to forfeit the race which now has seven candidates.

“My mother, sisters and brothers and my children all need more attention than I have been able to provide,” Saganash said in a news release obtained by The Huffington Post Canada. “I am unable to devote enough time to them, my constituents or my party and run the kind of campaign that I would like to run."

Saganash noted the warm reception he had received from NDP supporters but said it was a “impossible to run a winning campaign as the favourite second choice.”

“People send you good wishes, but they don't send their money”, he said.

Saganash said he had received tremendous reaction among the Aboriginal community but reaching out to other Canadians required an infrastructure that was impossible to build in a single campaign.

News that Saganash would pull out had the other campaigns wondering Thursday evening who he would endorse.

Saganash was coy in his news release saying he would endorse whichever candidate can best move the vision forward that I have for our party.” He talked about building support in Quebec, reaching to rural and suburban voters and engaging the forty per cent of Canadians who did not vote in the last election.

He may, however, make an announcement Friday morning in Val D'Or.

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