Federal Conservative MP Patrick Brown entered the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race Sunday — the fourth hopeful to do so. Here are some brief profiles of the candidates — declared as well as likely — in the contest.
— Brown, 36, a former city councillor in Barrie, was first elected to the House of Commons in 2006 and is chair of the federal Conservatives Central Ontario caucus. As the only candidate without a seat in the Ontario legislature, Brown is expected to face an uphill climb because of the problems previous PC leader John Tory had when he couldn't win a byelection after convincing another MPP to step aside.
— Christine Elliott, 59, was first elected in the Whitby-Oshawa riding in a 2006 byelection and is the deputy leader of the Progressive Conservative party. A lawyer by trade, Elliott serves as the party's critic of health and long term care. Elliott, the widow of former finance minister Jim Flaherty, came third in a previous run at the PC leadership in 2009, when Hudak was elected.
— Vic Fedeli, 58, represents the riding of Nipissing and was first elected in 2011. Fedeli owned an advertising agency and then served as mayor of North Bay for seven years before jumping to provincial politics. Fedeli is the Conservatives' finance critic, and says he's tired of apologizing for his party and the campaigns that it runs. He says he launched his campaign in downtown Toronto because it's where the party must win seats if it wants to form government.
— Monte McNaughton, 37, represents the Sarnia area riding of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, and was first elected in 2011 after a failed attempt in 2007. As PC labour critic McNaughton was the champion of the controversial right-to-work policy that the Progressive Conservatives abandoned before the June election campaign. He says the party needs to be more "Main Street than Bay Street" as it attempts to rebuild.
— Lisa MacLeod, 39, was first elected in the Ottawa-area riding of Nepean-Carleton in a 2006 byelection and quickly earned a reputation as one of the Tories' strongest performers in the legislature. The Nova Scotia-born MacLeod hasn't officially declared her leadership intentions, but has already received endorsements from several of her PC seat mates. She is openly preparing a leadership bid and has been touring the province to drum up support.
Potential candidates for the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership have until the end of January to file their nomination papers and until Feb. 28, 2015 to sign up new members. Party members will pick their new leader in early May.