British Columbia MLA Sam Sullivan has become the first person to announce plans to run for the leadership of the province's Liberal party and others are expected to be lining up soon.

Sullivan, a former Vancouver mayor, who was first elected to the legislature in 2013, said Thursday in a news release he had formally filed his application for the party's leadership and vowed to bring more urban and youth support to the party.

His announcement pre-empted those of former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts and MLA Andrew Wilkinson, who are both expected to enter the race in the next few days.

The B.C. Liberal Party leadership became vacant in August when former premier Christy Clark resigned from politics.

In an interview last week, interim leader Rich Coleman told radio station CHNL that Mike Bernier, Todd Stone and Mike de Jong, all former cabinet ministers in B.C.'s previous Liberal government, have been considering their chances too.

Coleman said newly elected Vancouver-Langara Liberal Michael Lee is also mulling a leadership bid and would have until Dec. 29 to decide whether to join the leadership race.

The party says the first of six leadership debates will be held on Oct. 15, and voting will take place in February.

With files from CBC News