Patrick Brown, officially running for PC leadership

Patrick Brown is running to reclaim leadership of the Ontario PC party with a last-minute entry into a race initially launched to replace him, as he continues to deny allegations of sexual misconduct.

Brown said Friday, “I think my name has been cleared, and it’s now about getting Ontario back on track.”

“This isn’t about me. This isn’t about the PC party. This is about making sure that on June 7, the Progressive Conservative party is successful.”

Brown stepped down from the job three weeks ago after CTV News reported sexual misconduct allegations against Brown by two women. Brown denies the allegations.

His departure triggered a leadership race within the PC party, which is hoping to unseat Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne in the upcoming provincial election.

Brown again denied the sexual misconduct allegations, calling the women’s accounts to CTV News “fictitious.” CTV News stands by its reporting.

He said, “What I’ve gone through in the last three weeks, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.It’s like getting hit by a truck and then getting hit by a truck all over again.”

The Barrie, Ont. politician’s bid widens the leadership race to five candidates: former MPP Christine Elliott, lawyer Caroline Mulroney, former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, sex-ed opponent Tanya Granic Allen, and Brown.