Federal Liberals are facing the prospect of a short list of candidates for their upcoming leadership race following confirmation Wednesday that Justin Trudeau will throw his hat in the ring.
Many Liberals have been practically giddy over the dream of Trudeau’s name being on the leadership ballot — a dream that will become reality when the 40-year-old MP officially announces his candidacy at an event in Montreal next Tuesday.
But it is also no secret a number of other prospective contenders have been waiting for him to lay his cards on the table before deciding whether they would pony up the $75,000 entry fee and challenge him for the job.
The question now is how many will opt to save their money and quietly fade out of the leadership conversation rather than face the celebrity star power that threatens to unleash a second iteration of Trudeaumania.
Trudeau, clearly enjoying the attention and excitement revelations of his pending candidacy had generated, refused to confirm the upcoming announcement when confronted by a horde of waiting journalists Wednesday morning.
“Thank you very much for all your interest,” he said at one point as he left a weekly meeting of Liberal MPs and senators.
“I’m pleased to hear all the buzz and all the interest in the Liberal Party’s fortunes, but I have nothing to announce today. I will let you know when I have something to announce.”
Fellow Liberal MP Denis Coderre, who will announce whether he will run for the leadership on Nov. 9, said he welcomed Trudeau’s entrance into the race.