After days of speculation, Premier Stephen McNeil's chief of staff says she won't be running to take his job.
On Saturday afternoon, Laurie Graham released a statement.
After a week of "serious consideration, and many conversations," she said she won't run for the leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.
Last weekend, CBC reported that multiple sources within the party said Graham was mulling a run at the party leadership and was making calls to gauge support.
Sources said Graham could resign from her post as soon as this week to launch a campaign.
McNeil confirmed Monday that Graham had spoken to him about the idea. He said he saw no issue with her continuing to be his top staffer despite her seeking support for a possible candidacy.
Graham says she was asked to run
In her statement, Graham said she hadn't been considering a leadership bid until people reached out to urge her to think about it.
"It's difficult to put yourself out there, especially in the vitriolic world of social media," she said. "I want to thank people for being fair and, for the most part, kind."
Graham said she will remain as McNeil's chief of staff until his term ends, then she will "find new ways to serve our province in the future."
The field narrows
Education Minister Zach Churchill and Central Nova MP Sean Fraser have also announced this week that they will not be seeking the party's leadership.
Provincial Liberal cabinet member, Labi Kousoulis, is still considering a bid. So is Community Services Minister Kelly Regan, Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin and Immigration Minister Lena Diab.
The Liberals will elect their new leader on Feb. 6. Candidates have until Oct. 9 to officially enter the race.
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