With three weeks to go until the hard deadline for getting into the Conservative leadership race, only two candidates so far — Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole — have officially passed the first milestone to get in. But there are a half dozen other candidates who are either close to filing their application or have already started the process.
Feb. 27 is the deadline to become an “approved applicant,” meaning you’ve got the party’s green light to enter the race. To qualify, candidates need to pay a $25,000 fee, submit 1,000 signatures, and fill out a lengthy questionnaire and information for background checks.
Candidates will still need to meet much higher thresholds — a total of $300,000 and 3,000 signatures — to get access to the party’s membership list and get on the final ballot. But they can’t start formal fundraising activities until they become an approved applicant.
As of Wednesday, here is how the campaigns are progressing towards the deadline.