Liberal MP Marc Garneau, despite running a “solid second” in the federal Liberal leadership race, has ended his campaign and thrown his support behind front-runner Justin Trudeau.
Garneau says he made the decision after internal polling made it clear to him that despite his status in second place, winning would be impossible given Trudeau’s lead.
His decision leaves seven candidates in the running.
Garneau, an MP since 2008, kicked off his campaign last November, stressing the economy as his key issue.
The 64-year-old retired navy captain and former head of the Canadian Space Agency said the Liberals had to address economic issues if they hoped to remain relevant.
“At the core of my vision is a stronger economy — a vibrant, dynamic one where we are on the leading edge of discovery,” he said in a policy statement.
Garneau shook up the staid leadership race in recent weeks with some pointed attacks on Trudeau.
He accused Trudeau of failing to offer solid policy proposals. He also warned that the party had gone for untested high-flyers in the past with disastrous results.
But his barbs had little measurable impact on Trudeau’s campaign.
Voting for the Liberal leadership will be conducted online and by phone early next month, with the winner to be announced on April 14.