04/19/2015 02:37 EDT | Updated 06/19/2015 05:59 EDT

Ontario PC Leadership Race: Christine Elliott Endorsed By Rob Ford

TORONTO - Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Christine Elliott now has the backing of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

Ford, who'd been supporting leadership hopeful Monte McNaughton before he dropped out of the race, and his brother Doug appeared with Elliott on Sunday in west-end Toronto.

Elliott says Ford and his brother have been "family friends" for many years and their father served with her late husband Jim Flaherty in the legislature.

Elliott and Barrie MP Patrick Brown are the only contenders left in the leadership race to replace Tim Hudak, who resigned after the Conservatives lost the election last June.

Ford, now a city councillor, says he'll "support and endorse" Elliott in the leadership campaign, in which PC members vote May 3 and 7 for a new leader.

Elliott says it means a lot to her personally to have the support of the Ford brothers.

"We are uniting Progressive Conservatives from all parts of the party," Elliott said. "We need to form a strong united team and that's what we're building."

Brown has said it's a clear choice between his fresh "reset" for the PCs, or more of the "same old, same old" from the party establishment that supports Elliott.

Elliott has called Brown an "untested candidate" and a career politician who she says represents the much less progressive side of the party, especially on social issues.

There had been five candidates in the leadership race, but North Bay MPP Vic Fedeli and Ottawa-area MPP Lisa MacLeod both withdrew earlier and threw their support behind Elliott.

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