Claiming he’s faced death threats, that his family members have been harassed and that his mother has been hospitalized because of stress, Patrick Brown intends to pull out of the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race, two senior members of his campaign team said Monday.

The Ontario Conservative’s political maneuvers in the last few weeks have been nothing if not unpredictable. Brown’s apparent decision caps a bizarre, roller-coaster few weeks for the party, beginning with his resignation as leader last month, then a dramatic decision to enter the contest to fill his old job.

A formal announcement was planned for later Monday, the source told the National Post, though earlier Monday a Brown spokeswoman had refuted rumours that he was dropping out.

The campaign’s internal polling, released to the Post, suggested that Brown was doing surprisingly well, showing him tied for the first-ballot lead with former legislative member Christine Elliott and apparently gaining strength.

By Tom Blackwell – The National Post

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