Bob 'Mad Dog' Runciman, the former Harris/Eves-era cabinet minister and long-time Leeds Grenville MPP, isn't wasting any time gearing up for the Oct. 4, 2007 provincial election.
Silencing skeptics who wondered if the 63-year-old firebrand was still interested in Queen's Park, Runciman announced Tuesday that he will seek re-election for an eighth time next year.
"I’m enthused and encouraged by John Tory’s leadership and increasingly optimistic that Ontarians will look to him and the PC party as an alternative to a McGuinty Liberal party that has lost their trust and confidence," Runciman said in a statement.
Tory, for his part, called the move "great news."
"I’ve been encouraging him to run for some time because his tested leadership and experience will be enormously important in our efforts to form the next government," said the PC Leader.
Some close to Tory had worried Runciman, a long-time supporter of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, might opt to run federally in an election expected as early as next spring.
Provincial Tories aren't the only people at the Park relieved to hear the Mad Dog will bark another day.
As a former journalist, Runciman has always been popular with reporters, who appreciate his candour, his oft over-the-top rhetoric and his refusal to duck tough questions.