Former Nova Scotia cabinet minister, MLA for Yartmouth Zach Churchill has officially entered the race for leadership fo the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.
Churchill who served as Deputy leader of the party and health critic since the parties defeat in 2021, announced that he was seeking the leadership of the Liberals, "This has been a terrible kept secret."
Reports surfaced over the last two weeks that Churchill was entering the race.
"Lets be honest, Loss isn't easy. And this last election loss has effected us all," Churchill stated in his campaign launch speech. "But how we respond to this loss is really important," he added.
The Liberals were removed from office in the 2021 election after 9 years in power.
"We certainly have a choice to make," Churchill stated. " We can wallow and point fingers at each other and assign blame, or we can wrap our arms around each other an recognize what we did wrong and the mistakes and learn from them."
Looking to the future, Chruchill said that the Liberals can repeats their historic win of 2013, "We made history by (defeating) the first one term majority government in Nova Scotia, and I think we can do that again."
In 2013 the Liberals defeated Nova Scotia NDP Premier Darrell Dexter after only 4 years in office.
Churchill said that its time to come together and unite, "We need to take the diverse strands of this party and tie them together in a knot so they can't be undone. Because only united can we next time."
Churchill added that the time for licking the wounds of the 2021 is over, and the time to move forward is today, "I am ready for this challenge."
Churchill joins fellow Liberal Caucus member Angela Simmonds in the race to replace former Premier and current Opposition leader Iian Rainkin.
Rainkin announced in early January that he would step down as leader of the party when a new leader was chosen later this year.
The leadership election will take place in July of this year.
Churchill was first elected MLA for Yarmouth in a 2010 byelection while the Liberals were in opposition. He was re-elected in 2013, 2017, and 2021.