New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix is a veteran politician — but he says despite the public nature of his political career, he prefers to  keep his personal and public life firmly separate.

While Dix still doesn’t appear entirely comfortable with being in the spotlight, he is comfortable on the campaign trail — giving stump speeches without notes and without stumbling.

"I love politics, it’s fair to say," he said in a recent sit-down interview with CBC legislative bureau chief Stephen Smart.

Despite his ambitions and experience — he served as former NDP premier Glen Clark’s chief of staff from 1996 to 1999, and was first elected to the legislature in 2005 — Dix insists he didn’t enter politics with the aim of becoming premier.

"It was certainly never before Carole James stepped down. I thought Carole would make a great premier," he said.

Unlike B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark, Dix tries to maintain a separation between the personal and political — other than a few brief campaign events, his wife Renée Saklikar is rarely seen on the campaign trail or in political ads.

"The challenge in these things is to accept that there are good and bad times, and I think if you expect people to respect your privacy when there are tougher issues, and not to involve your family in the tougher issues, then you can't take advantage of good times," he said.

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Adrian Dix was elected leader of the B.C. New Democrats in April 2011. (Canadian Press)

But Dix is more than willing to talk about his love of sports or discuss his battle with diabetes. He admits when he’s not working, one of his favourite things is doing pretty much nothing.

"I'm a relatively introspective, shy person, so the time I get to spend at home with Renee, it's a joyful thing for me, and something I love to do."

Dix insists being on the campaign has only reinforced his decision to seek B.C.’s top job — a very public position for someone more comfortable outside the limelight.

With files from the CBC's Stephen Smart