04/16/2014 10:37 EDT | Updated 06/16/2014 05:59 EDT

Stephen Mandel Says Premier Race Not In The Cards

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EDMONTON, CANADA - AUGUST 29: Stephen Mandel, Mayor of Edmonton, addresses the media during a press conference to launch the Women's Rugby World Cup 2006 on August 29, 2006 at Churchill Square in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Canada is the first country outside Europe to host the Women's Rugby World Cup. (Photo by Tim Smith/Getty Images)
EDMONTON - A former Edmonton mayor says he will not be entering the race to replace Alison Redford as premier of Alberta.

In a statement released on Twitter, Stephen Mandel says he will not be seeking the leadership of Alberta's Progressive Conservatives and extends best wishes to those who will be pursuing the party's top job.

Mandel says he's honoured to have received many expressions of support, but feels he must put his family and personal life first.

He also says he believes Alberta needs a strong and renewed Tory party that is both progressive and conservative.

Mandel, who was a three-term mayor of the provincial capital, was touted by some observers as a possible entrant in the leadership race after Redford stepped down last month.

Former Alberta municipal affairs minister Ken Hughes is the only declared candidate so far in the race that will be decided in a vote this September.

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