Manitoba's Liberal party has a new candidate for the Point Douglas riding in Winnipeg.

John Cacayuran will be representing the party in the historically NDP riding in the next provincial election, the party announced Thursday.

The announcement marks Cacayuran's political debut. He was the only person to put his name forward for the Liberal nomination.

"I feel really good. I think Point Douglas is ready for a change," he said. "I think the Liberal party is the only positive alternative to the NDP, and I feel that with a strong campaign, a good ground game, we can take it."

Before putting his name forward for the nomination, Cacayuran served as a staffer under Liberal MP MaryAnn Mihychuk (Kildonan—St. Paul) and as an investigator with provincial regulatory bodies.

He said it's always been his goal to enter politics.

"It's something I've been really dreaming about for, God, who knows how long. Twenty years at least," he said.

Safety, housing big issues, Cacayuran says

"We are very optimistic about our chances in Point Douglas, and we are positioning ourselves to be a strong and positive alternative to the PCs and the NDP," said the party's interim leader Judy Klassen in a Thursday press release.

Cacayuran said he wants to bring more investment into the community and tackle housing in the area he was born and raised in.

"I definitely want to help the people feel safe in the community," he said. "I've been talking to a lot of residents, and one of the biggest concerns that they've brought to my attention is that they don't feel safe walking the streets, so I definitely want to address that with them."

In the April 2016 election, the party was represented by Althea Guiboche in the area.

Also on Thursday, the party announced plans to elect a new leader at a party meeting on Oct. 21 in Winnipeg.

Premier Brian Pallister has until July to call a byelection in the province.

With files from the Canadian Press