Former cabinet minister Steven Blaney officially joins Conservative leadership race

— Conservative MP is joining the party’s race.

Blaney, who had already filed his nomination papers on Wednesday, made an official announcement Sunday at the annual brunch of the Conservative association in his riding of Bellechasse-Etchemins-Levis in Quebec City.

Blaney, 51, was first elected in 2006.

He was promoted to in 2011, heading the veteran affairs department.

Blaney was appointed public safety in 2013.

Other declared leadership candidates are Maxime Bernier, Scheer, Kellie Leitch, Michael Chong, Deepak Obhrai, Brad Trost, Erin O’Toole, Saxton, Rick Peterson and Pierre Lemieux

MPs Chris Alexander is expected to announce their candidacy soon.

MP Lisa Raitt and businessman Kevin O’Leary are also considering a bid.

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