Quebec election: Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman won’t run. (Montreal Gazette)

CÔTE-ST-LUC — Longtime Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman made it official Friday that he will not run in next month’s election.

Bergman, 73, has represented D’Arcy McGee since 1994 and was revenue minister in Premier Jean Charest’s government.

At a press conference in his Cavendish Blvd. office, Bergman said he could not confirm whether David Birnbaum, executive director of the Quebec English School Boards Association, will be the riding’s next Liberal candidate, adding he knew no more than what he has read in the newspaper.

“I’ll always be a Liberal,” Bergman said, adding that he has full confidence Liberal leader Philippe Couillard will lead the party to a majority by focusing on the economy and health care in the campaign.

Tearing up as he reminisced about his 20-year political career, Bergman, who has two sons and four grandchildren, said he wants to focus on family and his partner after not having taken a holiday in two decades. He boasted of achievements including the building of a new wing of the Jewish General Hospital — emphasizing that 77 per cent of patients are non-Jews — and construction of the Shriners’ hospital on the site of the McGill University Health Centre.

Another senior Liberal — Verdun’s Henri-François Gautrin — has also retired, while Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Yvon Marcoux, 72, announced he would not be seeking re-election. He was the MNA there for 16 years.

Bergman was chair of the Liberal Party caucus and a major fundraiser in the Jewish community who won by a 20,000-vote majority in the last campaign.

mascot@montrealgazette.com

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