Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he believes his former cabinet colleague John Baird is “seriously considering” a run for the Conservative leadership.

“If somebody like John Baird steps forward, I think that would help to enliven the race,” said Kenney following a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., Friday.

“I believe he’s seriously considering it.”

Kenney, who served alongside Baird in Stephen Harper’s cabinet, said he’s discussed the race with Baird but wouldn’t discuss a private conversation.

The premier said the leadership race needs a broader field of candidates.

“I think he’d be a very compelling candidate,” said Kenney. “John is very experienced, he’s a principled Conservative, he is bilingual.”