Kelly Regan will not seek the leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.
The MLA for Bedford and community services minister was widely expected to announce her candidacy this week. But in a video posted on her Facebook page Tuesday, Regan said the time isn't right.
"Recent events have made it clear to me that while I remain committed to Nova Scotia, my family needs me, too," she said.
Regan goes on to say that she's received permission from Premier Stephen McNeil to travel outside of Atlantic Canada to visit her parents later this week for the first time in 18 months.
Upon her return, Regan will self-isolate for 14 days, as public health rules require.
"Then, we'll see what's happening with the leadership race and I just want to assure you that I will support whoever wins that race," she said.
The job of party leader — and by extension premier — is up for grabs after McNeil announced in August that he'll be stepping down. Party members will select a new leader on Feb. 6.
The deadline for entry in the race is Oct. 9 and to date there are no declared candidates.
MP considering a run
So far, more people have said they won't be running than have indicated they're considering a bid.
From the provincial cabinet, Zach Churchill, Randy Delorey, Mark Furey and Geoff MacLellan are all out.
Central Nova MP Sean Fraser and former Liberal MP Scott Brison have also said they will not pursue the job.
Last weekend, McNeil's chief of staff, Laurie Graham, ended a week of speculation by saying she would not launch a bid.
The remaining people who have publicly indicated an interest and have yet to bow out are Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab, Labour Minister Labi Kousoulis and Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin.
On the same day Regan bowed out, a new name emerged. Darrell Samson, the MP for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, confirmed to CBC News that he is mulling a run at the provincial leadership.
"I am currently weighing my options and will be making a decision early next week," he said in a brief email.
Samson, the former head of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, was first elected to federal office in 2015.
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