02/04/2014 09:46 EST | Updated 04/06/2014 05:59 EDT

Tim Powers sits out PC leadership race

Tory power-broker Tim Powers has decided to stay out of Newfoundland and Labrador's Progressive Conservative leadership race. 

Powers said in a statement Tuesday that he will not be entering the race to succeed Kathy Dunderdale as the party's leader, and Newfoundland and Labrador's next premier. 

"Like most, my family has deep roots in Newfoundland and Labrador and we are fully committed to our home," said Powers, who was raised in St. John's but has for many years been a Conservative insider in Ottawa. 

"I have been taught, and sincerely believe, that there is no greater calling than public service," said Powers, vice-chairman of Summa Strategies and a frequent commentator on politics. 

Powers had been consulting friends and PC supporters since Dunderdale stepped down as premier last month. 

So far, only maverick Corner Brook businessman Bill Barry has officially launched a leadership campaign. Other high-profile Tories, inside and outside the caucus, have been mulling a bid for a leadership race that will be decided in the early summer. 

Powers said he looks forward to a contested leadership race, the first that the governing Tories would have since 1996. 

"Our province can only benefit from a vigorous and competitive political system," he said.