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Two more cabinet ministers throw support to Falcon

Liberal leadership candidate Kevin Falcon picked up the support of two more cabinet ministers with endorsements from Ida Chong and Margaret MacDiarmid.

"I want to ensure I am going to be able to be helpful for the next leader and the next premier," Chong said. "I think I can attest to his proven track record in terms of his leadership, in terms of his commitment."

He's the best candidate to build the Liberal party's coalition, she said. Chong said she had been waiting until a recall campaign against her in Oak Bay-Gordon Head was over to endorse someone.

"He I believe is the person best suited to lead us forward in the province and be the next premier of British Columbia," said MacDiarmid. He demonstrated leadership as minister of health and transportation, she said.

She liked the introduction of patient based funding in hospitals, she said, and hopes he'll introduce student based funding in the education system. It has taken until now to pick someone to endorse because she's been preoccupied with her husband's recent surgery, she added.

"I'm really honoured," said Falcon. "Both Margaret and Ida are senior cabinet ministers . . . I think they're both women of distinction and achievement."

Falcon now has endorsements from 18 of the Liberal caucus members, including 10 cabinet ministers.

Meanwhile, Moira Stilwell has scheduled a "significant campaign announcement" for 10 a.m. this morning at a Victoria hotel. Believed to be in fifth place in the six-person race, she is expected to drop out of the race and put her support behind George Abbott.

Falcon said he believes it is correct that Stilwell is supporting Abbott, but that he knows it wasn't an easy decision for her.

Abbott has the support of 16 members of the Liberal caucus, plus independent Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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