NDP Leader Dominic Cardy will run in the riding of Fredericton West-Hanwell in the 2014 provincial election.
Cardy used a Wednesday morning news conference to announce he would run in the Fredericton riding, ending speculation he would follow former leader Elizabeth Weir's lead and move to Saint John.
"Fredericton West-Hanwell is a great cross-section of New Brunswick. You have urban, suburban, and rural areas, people working for government, struggling to make a go of their own business, students, a good size francophone community and the First Nation of Kingsclear," Cardy said in a statement.
"This is a constituency that will keep me in constant touch with many diverse voices if I have the honour of being elected MLA next September and it’s where my wife and I look forward to raising our family."
Fredericton has not been kind to NDP leaders or candidates in the past. Not only has the NDP never won a seat in Fredericton, it has never even come second.
But Cardy says he'll be spending the next 14 months trying to change that.
"I think the problem the NDP has had in New Brunswick has been the NDP," he said.
Although running in Saint John was considered, Cardy said he couldn't bring himself to do so. He felt he had to run in Fredericton to prove he's serious about an election breakthrough next year, he said.
"I think that me running in that constituency or in any of the Saint John seats would have shown that this was the same old NDP looking to maybe win one or two seats and that's not my goal," said Cardy.
"My goal is to put forward a plan and a team and a platform to win government next year and to change this province."
NDP polling at record highs
The 2014 election will be the first under a redesigned riding map. The province’s electoral boundaries commission released the new 49-riding map earlier this year, a reduction of six ridings from 2010.
Cardy’s NDP remained in third place in the most recent Corporate Research Associates poll released in June.
The NDP had 27 per cent of decided voters, which was two percentage points behind the Progressive Conservatives. The Liberals had 41 per cent in the June poll.
The NDP has been without a leader in the legislative assembly since Elizabeth Weir retired in 2005.
When Weir entered politics in 1991, she moved to Saint John to run in the riding of Saint John South. The riding later became Saint John Harbour.
Weir, who won four elections as leader, had previously lost in Fredericton in 1982.
The NDP's Allison Brewer, a long-time capital resident, placed third in the riding of Fredericton-Lincoln in 2006.
In 2010, star NDP Fredericton candidate Tony Myatt, a respected economist at UNB, polled at just 16 per cent in his riding.
Meanwhile, Roger Duguay finished second in the northeastern riding of Tracadie-Sheila in the 2010 election.
Cardy was the party’s campaign manager in the 2010 election and did not run in the campaign.
He ran unsuccessfully in the Rothesay byelection in 2012, finishing third behind Progressive Conservative Ted Flemming and Liberal John Wilcox.
He did, however, more than double the party's vote.