Joe Preston, former Ontario Conservative MP, to seek the mayor's job in St. Thomas

Joe Preston wants to make a comeback in municipal politics after retiring in 2015 as the MP for the federal riding of Elgin-Middlesex-London.

Preston was the MP for the federal riding of Elgin-Middlesex-London for 11 years

Former Conservative MP Joe Preston is running for mayor for St. Thomas, Ontario. (Submitted)

Former Conservative member of Parliament Joe Preston wants to make a comeback — this time in municipal politics.

Preston, 63, says he will be seeking the mayor's job in St. Thomas in the fall municipal elections.

Preston, who is also a business owner, made the announcement in front of city hall Tuesday.

"My track record championing St. Thomas and providing strong leadership is clear," Preston said in a statement to the media.

Preston represented the federal riding of Elgin-Middlesex-London from 2004 to 2015. He did not seek re-election in 2015 and said he was retiring from politics.

In his statement Tuesday, Preston also made note of the new provincial government of Doug Ford.

"There is a new culture at Queen's Park and we will need to seize on the new direction to bring direct benefits to local residents and businesses," said Preston, adding he wants to see the city of 39,000 residents become more than a "commuting city." 

Two others are officially seeking the mayor's job — St. Thomas councillor Steve Wookey and artist Malichi Malé.

Incumbent mayor Heather Jackson has yet to file her nominations papers. The deadline is July 27.