At least eight candidates have made it past the first hurdle of the Conservative leadership race — although the party may announce more candidates have passed the approval process in the coming days.
Candidates had until April 19 to submit a series of documents, including a leadership questionnaire, and a $50,000 registration fee.
The party has officially approved applications from Scott Aitchison, Leona Alleslev, Roman Baber, Patrick Brown, Jean Charest, Marc Dalton, Leslyn Lewis and Pierre Poilievre.
Conservative officials say the field could grow as more applications are reviewed by the committee managing the contest.
WATCH: Crowded Conservative leadership race could shrink
“We anticipate there will be packages received that will need to be evaluated for completeness,” said Conservative executive director Wayne Benson in an email.
Benson said the party will not confirm any new official candidates until it has completed that review process.
It’s a crowded field — though not as jam-packed as the 2017 leadership race, which had thirteen names on the ballot.
The number of competitors is likely to shrink by the next deadline of April 29. That’s when candidates will be required to submit their final payments and documentation to appear on the ballot. Those requirements include registration and compliance fees totalling $300,000 and the signatures of 500 party members.
The Conservatives’ leadership website indicates that Charest, Lewis and Poilievre have already fulfilled those obligations.
At least three other potential candidates not listed by the party — businesspeople Joseph Bourgault and Bobby Singh and former Conservative candidate Joel Etienne — have expressed interest in entering the race.
The Conservatives will name their third permanent leader of the past five years at a convention on Sept. 10.
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