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Patrick Brown says he won't run in next provincial election

Last Updated Mar 15, 2018 at 11:47 pm EDT

Ontario PC Leadership candidate Patrick Brown leaves the Ontario PC Party Head Offices in Toronto on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Patrick Brown says he will not be running as a candidate in the next provincial election.

“After much thought, I will not be running in the upcoming provincial election,” Brown tweeted Thursday night. “I remain committed to the Conservative movement and to the well-being of my local community.”

His announcement came moments after the Conservative party released a statement saying Brown would not be eligible to run as a candidate in the riding of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte.

PC party president Jag Badwal said the decision of the Provincial Nominations Committee was unanimous.

Brown stepped down as party leader in January amid sexual misconduct allegations, which he has vehemently denied.

The Progressive Conservatives picked former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford as their new leader last weekend.

Badwal said the committee also agreed to reopen nominations in three ridings: Brampton North, Mississauga Centre and Newmarket-Aurora.

The committee also set aside the nomination in the riding of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas “as a result of the flawed process,” Badwal said in a statement.

The Ontario Conservatives has been dogged by controversial nomination battles in ridings across the province, including allegations of vote-stuffing in races near Hamilton and Ottawa.

In the riding of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, police are investigating the PC nomination.

Ontario voters go to the polls on June 7.