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Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris won't run for re-election

Last Updated Apr 8, 2018 at 3:05 pm EST

Photo courtesy of Michael Harris.

The Progressive Conservative MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga is not seeking re-election in the province’s June vote for health reasons.

Michael Harris announced Saturday that due to a deteriorating eye disease, he has decided not to run as the Tory candidate for the local riding.

Harris has represented Kitchener-Conestoga since 2011. The riding is bounded by the townships of Wellesley, Woolwich and Wilmot, and southwestern Kitchener.

In a statement released Saturday, Harris says, “It has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, but I know for the sake of my health, it is the right call.”

Harris says he’s been battling a worsening case of Keratoconus for nearly 20 years, and has been putting off corneal replacement surgery for too long. Keratoconus can cause blindness.

He says he recently had a significant scare with his vision and he felt he could no longer delay this procedure.

“I know deep down, I should’t wait any longer,” the statement continues. “I need to put my health first.”

The 38 year old says the decision to step away was the hardest decision of his life, but was right considering he puts health and family first.

He added in that he has loved every moment of getting to represent his community in Kitchener-Conestoga and the Region of Waterloo.

Harris has served as the opposition critic for Research, Innovation & Science, and Transportation.

Several local politicians praised Harris on Twitter following the announcement:

More to come.