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N.S. Liberal leader Danny Graham resigns

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ATV News: Danny Graham steps down to give more time to family
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Date: Wed. Dec. 17 2003 6:28 AM ET

Nova Scotia Liberal leader Danny Graham is stepping down, effective immediately, citing family reasons for his sudden departure.

Graham, 41, told his caucus at an emergency meeting in Halifax that his wife and three sons need him right now. He confirmed his decision in a brief statement.

"After carefully considering the situation facing our family, I have made the difficult decision that, in order to devote the time needed to support my wife and our children, I am left with no other sensible choice but to step down as the leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party," Graham said in a release.

His wife, Sheelagh Nolan, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002 and her condition has worsened.

Graham will remain as leader until an interim leader is chosen in January. He will also stay on as the MLA for Halifax Citadel for the time being.

He won the riding in the August election after narrowly defeating Conservative Health Minister Jane Purves.

His resignation comes as a surprise to most of the Liberal members, who have now been left without a replacement.

The lawyer won the leadership of the N.S. Liberal party on the first ballot in April 2002.

Before entering politics, he practised as both a corporate and defence lawyer. He also worked for two years as a special adviser in the federal Justice Department.

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