TORONTO -- The deal must not have been good enough because the current Shark Tank entrepreneur decided that he's out of the race to be leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Just hours before he was set to take the stage and face off against the 13 other potential leaders 'Mr. Wonderful' decided he would withdraw his name, and instead support front-runner Maxime Bernier.
"This was not an easy decision for me to make but after much thought and deliberation, it is the right one for the Conservative Party and the country," said O'Leary who said his main reason for dropping out was that he did not feel he could beat Justin Trudeau in the 2019 election.
While he felt he would be able to win the leadership of the Conservative Party, his lack of support in Quebec made him realize that winning in 2019 and beating Prime Minister Trudeau would be difficult.
"The Liberals politically own Quebec. Without growing the Conservative base in Quebec, beating Trudeau in 2019 would be a huge challenge," said O'Leary. "The likelihood of me gaining a lot of seats in Quebec was low. I was weak in Quebec, it's a fact, people know this."
Not long after O'Leary withdrew his name the bakers dozen of remaining candidates continued with the final debate of the race for leadership.
While some people like Kellie Leitch called the withdrawal of O'Leary "fabulous" as she thought it boosted her chances of winning, others like Bernier who was now the clear front-runner were turned into targets.
Candidates like Michael Chong went after Bernier's pledge to cut federal spending by a third, while Rick Peterson went after him on budgetary issues.
Each candidate had their moment, and with a month left in the race, it's now up to the 259,010 party members that are eligible to vote to pick the next party leader.
Sean Heeger is a journalist and editor-in-chief of the Torch Online Media. Visit his personal twitter account at www.twitter.com/fa1coneri
Daniel A. Betts is a freelance photographer and photojournalist with the Torch Online Media. Visit his personal website at www.dbiphotography.com