Dougald Lamont, a longtime Liberal communications specialist, became the second contender today in the leadership race for the provincial liberal party.
A press release stated Lamont handed in his papers today at the Manitoba Liberal Party headquarters at 635 Broadway in Winnipeg this morning.
He said he is running because he believes there is potential for the party to win more seats in the next provincial election, which is expected to occur in the spring of 2016.
"When I look at the options for Manitoba, I think the NDP is tired and worn out," Lamont said. "Manitoba needs a change. That doesn’t include a sharp right turn under (Progressive Conservative Leader) Brian Pallister."
Lamont, 44, is the owner of Jetpack Media, a advertising agency and communications consultation business he has been running since 2006.
In past elections, he has worked for the provincial Liberals as a communications officer and for the federal Liberals as a special campaign advisor for the Manitoba-based candidates.
Married with four children, he is the author of two two sci-fi fantasy books for young readers: The Jinx and Three Dreams Deep.
Winnipeg lawyer Rana Bokhari announced her intention July 22 to seek the Liberal leadership.
Winnipeg businessman Robert Young, who had intended on running, has now said he wants to instead focus on his role as the party’s vice-president. He has also endorsed Bokhari.
"In my opinion a leader needs something to lead," Young said today. "My intention was and always will be to build something viable."
The leadership convention is Oct. 26.
The Liberals are trying to find a replacement for Jon Gerrard, who announced his resignation after the 2011 election that saw the party win only one seat out of 57 and 7.5 per cent of the popular vote, down from two seats and 12 per cent of the vote in 2007.
However, the party appears to be benefiting from the decline in NDP support, according to a June poll by Probe Research.
The poll said 17 per cent of Manitobans surveyed said they would vote Liberal.
The numbers don't yet suggest a Liberal surge similar to the one orchestrated by leader Sharon Carstairs in 1988. That year the party won 20 seats.