Apparent frontrunner for the Conservative Party leadership, Kevin O'Leary, unceremoniously withdrew from the race ahead of an all-candidate debate on Wednesday, endorsing his closest rival.
The curious move comes just a month ahead of a vote that seemed destined to install him as leader of the second-place party, with a good shot at unseating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next federal election, scheduled for 2019.
O'Leary's sudden departure from the race does not appear to have been planned. He was holding campaign events in Toronto in advance of the final official all-candidates debate on Wednesday evening.
He even told supporters that he was working hard on his French so that he could debate Trudeau in 2019.
"Getting there, but not there yet," O'Leary said of his French.
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