Former premier Tom Marshall has endorsed Ches Crosbie for the PC leadership, the Crosbie campaign announced Thursday.

“I am very pleased to see that Ches Crosbie has left his successful law practice in order to offer himself to the public service of our province and its people,” Marshall said in a statement. “I firmly believe he has the energy, experience, intelligence, education, and dedication to successfully continue the renewal of our province’s Progressive Conservative Party.”

Marshall served as a senior cabinet minister in the governments of Danny Williams and Kathy Dunderdale from 2003 to 2014 and as premier in 2014.

“I am confident that with Ches Crosbie as leader, he will be able to lead a responsible, reasonable and effective opposition that will hold our current Liberal government to account,” Marshall said.

“Most importantly, I believe Ches Crosbie will be able to create public confidence that there will be, at the time of the next election, an alternative team available, ready and willing to form a new government with new policies and a fresh approach to address the many challenges facing our province.”

Crosbie is the only declared candidate for the PC leadership so far. Nominations close in January and the convention will be held April 27-29, 2018.