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Federal Tory rules force Christy Clark's campaign manager to step down

B.C. Liberal leadership candidate Christy Clark speaks at a meeting in Vancouver.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Former deputy premier Christy Clark, running for the B.C. Liberal leadership and premier's post, has lost her campaign manager to rules set by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

But a spokesman for Ms. Clark's effort says it's not a sign of trouble in Ms. Clark's campaign, which began last week in Vancouver and saw her return to politics after several years as a radio talk show host.

Ken Boessenkool, who has a role in the national Tory campaign team, quit because of an order from the prime minister's office that members of the national Conservative campaign avoid formal roles in the leadership battle among B.C. Liberals.

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Shane Mills, a spokesman for the Clark campaign, said in an interview that Mr. Boessenkool notified the campaign of the situation in an e-mail Monday, and it was not immediately clear why the matter had cropped up now in the second week of a campaign that pits Ms. Clark against four other rivals - all recent cabinet ministers.

Mr. Boessenkool has been replaced by Mike McDonald, a consultant who has been campaign co-chair for Ms. Clark, a former education minister.

"Mike has been campaign co-chair so he has been intimately involved in everything to this point," said Mr. Mills.

"(Mr. Boessenkool) has done great work and opened a lot of doors for people to enter the coalition Christy is trying to build," Mr. Mills said, referring to Ms. Clark's efforts to rally federal Tories and Liberals - both members of the B.C. Liberal coalition - to her campaign.

"Ken has done a great job in getting us to where we are," said Mr. Mills.

B.C. Liberals are to choose a successor to Premier Gordon Campbell on Feb. 26.

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B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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