The former leader of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta has officially announced his candidacy for leader of the recently-minted United Conservative Party.

Kenney announced his intentions to lead the newly-formed party, comprised of the former PC and Wildrose parties, on Saturday morning in Edmonton during the first of two scheduled appearances. Kenney is slated to appear at the Markin Macphail Centre in Calgary at 4:00 p.m.

“This will be the most challenging time in Alberta government in at least 25 years,” said Kenney in a statement released in conjunction with his announcement in Edmonton. “We need a leader with consistent conservative convictions, who can withstand endless attacks without flinching, who has the political skills to unite our new party while reaching out to broaden the tent, and has a proven track record of leading major reforms within government. I know that I have those clear convictions. And I have been blessed with the right kind of experience, which I believe has given me the temperament needed for the huge challenge ahead.”

Brian Jean, the former leader of the Wildrose Party, announced his intention to run for leader of the UCP on Monday, July 24 in Airdrie.

Nathan Cooper. MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, will serve as interim leader of the party until a new leader is elected in October.