Just received this press release from Manning’s people:
Calgary, Alberta – Preston Manning today announced that he has decided to continue development of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy rather than enter the leadership race to succeed Alberta Premier Ralph Klein.
Manning thanked the many Albertans who have urged him to enter the race and said it was these expressions of interest and support which caused him to give long and serious consideration to becoming a candidate.
“This has been a most difficult decision,” Manning said. “There is no province for whose people I have greater affection than the people of Alberta and no provincial government with a greater opportunity and responsibility for leadership than the Alberta government.”
“But in the final analysis I believe that I can better serve Albertans and the country by continuing my efforts to strengthen democratic conservatism through supporting the generation of better policy ideas, providing better training for political activists, and improving conservative communications capabilities – the purposes for which the Manning Centre was established.”
“Sandra and I also believe that our career involvements should not override our commitments to each other, to family, and to friends. I want to practice this principle more diligently in the future than I have in the past, and believe that I will be better able to do so as the President and CEO of the Manning Centre than as a candidate for the Alberta PC leadership.”
Manning urged those unfamiliar with the work of the Manning Centre to visit its website at www.manningcentre.ca and to support its activities. He also assured Albertans that he would have more to say in future about the defining issues facing the province and its responsibility to play a prominent role on the national stage.
Preston Manning will continue to benefit Canadian democracy no matter his role. It would have been interesting to see him in the race (and as Premier), but I know that he’ll continue to do excellent work building the democratic infrastructure of Canada.