MacLeod, who has been an MPP since 2006, is an outspoken member of the PCs and served as Tim Hudak’s right-hand woman during his tenure as party leader. She is also the party critic for Treasury Board issues.
Recently, MacLeod made headlines for being sued, along with Hudak, by Premier Kathleen Wynne for libel after the pair claimed Wynne "oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal destruction of [gas plant] documents.”
After the provincial election on June 12, Hudak stepped down because the Ontario Liberals led by Wynne won a majority. As soon as that night, some eastern Ontario PC members suggested MacLeod as a leadership candidate.
Then later in the summer, a website was created in support of MacLeod. She launches her bid on Sunday afternoon at the National Arts Centre in downtown Ottawa.
4 other candidates already in the race
Federal Conservative MP Patrick Brown, deputy leader of the Ontario PC Party, Christine Elliott, and MPPs Vic Fedeli and Monte McNaughton.have also announced runs for the leadership. Nomination papers must be filed by January 30, 2015 and the earliest anyone can formally enter the race is Nov. 8.
Candidates have to provide a $25,000 refundable deposit to the party and there is a $75,000 registration fee. After a candidate has raised $100,000, he or she will provide 20 per cent of all additionally raised funds to the PC Ontario Fund.
The party, which has set a $1.25 million limit for campaign expenses, will name its new leader in early May.
MacLeod, born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, lives with her husband and daughter, Victoria. She previously served as an assistant to south Ottawa councillor Jan Harder and Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre.
Veteran MPP Jim Wilson, who represents the riding of Simcoe-Grey, currently serves as the party’s interim leader.