A former mayor of Placentia will carry the Progressive Conservative colours in the upcoming byelection to replace maverick politician Fabian Manning.

Felix Collins, a lawyer whose career includes a 15-year stint as mayor of Placentia, won the party's nomination Tuesday night.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," said Collins.

Collins took 611 votes at the nomination meeting, defeating his nearest rival, former MHA Nick Careen, by only 34 votes.

Collins has been involved in politics, largely with the PCs, for more than three decades.

He said he would let constituents set his agenda, although he is concerned about the future of the plant that will process nickel from Voisey's Bay.

"People in the Placentia area have hung their hat on that for their saving grace for a long time," he said.

Collins will face Liberal candidate Kevin Power, a Placentia businessman who challenged Manning in the 2003 election.

No date has been set for the byelection.

The byelection will fill a vacancy in the House of Assembly created when Manning resigned from provincial politics in December to run in the Jan. 23 federal election. Manning is the Conservative candidate in Avalon riding.