AMHERST - As much as his name has been bandied about as a potential candidate, former Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey will not be running for the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative leadership.
"I'm not considering at this time," Casey said Thursday. "I had 20 years at the political game and politics completely consumes your life. I made a decision a year ago to leave politics and I completely enjoy what I do now."
Casey, who was re-elected as an Independent MP in October 2008, announced early last year that he was leaving politics to accept a job as the province's intergovernmental affairs representative in Ottawa.
"My federal political career is over and a year later I am still happy with my decision," said Casey. "I missed the intensity of being in parliament and politics because you're involved 24-7, but that's also the reason I don't miss it."
Soon after he was ejected from the federal Conservative caucus for voting against the federal budget, the veteran member of parliament, first elected in 1988, was touted as being a possible replacement for then premier Rodney MacDonald and former Cumberland North MLA Ernest Fage.
Asked if he could change his mind, Casey said he can't see the circumstances changing to that point. He said he enjoys the life he is now living, including having his wife, Rosemary, stay with him in Ottawa.
"That's something we couldn't do before because I was coming and going so much," he said.
Casey is flattered by people asking him to consider the provincial leadership but remains committed to his job in Ottawa and enjoying the things he has sacrificed over the years when he was in office.