The Portage-Lisgar Conservative Party candidate met with voters Thursday evening ahead of the upcoming federal by-election.

Branden Leslie, who welcomed a full campaign office of supporters in Portage la Prairie, says he is ready to take the next step in politics after over a decade of working on Parliament Hill with a number of MPs and Ministers.

"We are excited to go on this campaign. We have momentum, and we are ready to send a strong message to the Prime Minister that we are ready to fight for rural Conservative values," says Leslie.

MP for Regina-Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan and former Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer made the trip to Portage from Ottawa to show his support for Leslie.

"He's (Leslie) already shown that he's a fantastic organizer, winning a very hotly contested nomination with such significant engagement from the membership. He's impressed a lot of people with his work in Conservative Party politics, helping our previous Conservative government, and we're all just excited to support him," Scheer explains.

Although a Conservative Member has long represented the Portage-Lisgar riding, Scheer says their party must earn that trust every election and by-election.

"I'm here to signal to Branden that we're excited to have him as part of the team, but also to the voters of this riding that we're going to earn each and every vote during this election," notes Scheer.

Leslie, a farmhand from just south of Portage, went to École Crescentview School and attended Brandon University, illustrating that he is ready to represent the riding he was raised in.

"We can't take anything for granted. I am ready to run a strong campaign that is going to show that we are going to send a strong message to the Prime Minister that Conservative values will prevail," notes Leslie.

Both Leslie and Scheer went door-knocking after the campaign event, as we sit just 31 days away from the Portage-Lisgar by-election scheduled for June 19th. Voters will decide who fills the vacant seat held by former MP Candice Bergen.

Other candidates on the ballot include Kerry Smith for the Liberal Party of Canada, and People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier.