The race to find a new leader of the federal Conservative party was front and centre in Barrie on Saturday.

Local supporters got a chance to hear from some big-name MP’s and former cabinet ministers about the direction the party should take.

“Our Conservative future is pretty simple, in my view; we have to win in 2019. It’s not only just a can and a must, we have to win,” said Lisa Raitt.

Potential party leaders took the stage one-by-one to rally the troops.

“I’m doing everything for being able to be a candidate for the leadership,” said Maxime Bernier.

Wellington – Halton Hills MP Michael Chong says he’s getting excited about the possibility of making a run for the leadership.

“I think we have to re-articulate our principals,” Chong said on Saturday. “We need to re-imagine the policies of which these principals are based.”

“From my perspective, it gives all of the prospective candidates a real chance to hear from people as we go through the process of learning from the last election but also starting to move forward,” said Parry Sound – Muskoka MP Tony Clement.

Provincial Conservative leader Patrick Brown was on hand and he wasted no time in clearing the air about any potential run for him.

“Let me say first of all, I’m not running for the federal leadership. I am here today to offer advice to friends on this,” said Brown. “This is important, to have this period of reflection, what the federal Conservative party can do to be the modern inclusive party.”

The Conservative Party will choose its next leader on May 27, 2017.