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Race to replace BC premier has its first contender

VANCOUVER - Premier Gordon Campbell has lost another cabinet minister, but it's because she wants his job.

Regional Economic and Skills Development Minister Moira Stilwell has become the first Liberal leadership contender, announcing on a Vancouver radio station that she has quit cabinet to run to replace Campbell.

Stilwell, a Metro Vancouver-based radiologist and nuclear medicine physician, was elected in 2009.

Meanwhile, former Liberal cabinet minister-turned-Independent MLA Blair Lekstrom says he's not interested in the post and will concentrate instead on running again to represent his northeastern B.C. riding.

Lekstrom stepped down as energy minister and resigned from the B.C. Liberal caucus in June to protest the Harmonized Sales Tax.

B.C. Liberals will vote on Feb. 26, 2011 in a provincewide ballot to replace Campbell, who announced his resignation earlier this month.

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