Dwight Ball officially stepped down as interim leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal party and leader of the Official Opposition to announce that he will be running for the permanent position.

Ball is one of five people in the running, along with Danny Dumaresque, Cathy Bennett, Jim Bennett and Paul Antle.

According to Ball, having so much competition in the race is good for the party's future.

"I think it's a compliment to the leadership because what we said, and what we've been asking people to do, is come back to the Liberal party," Ball said.

"People have been asking about change and people have been looking for a different way to govern this province — that's what we promoted, and in doing so, we've encourage people to come to the Liberal party and that's what we're seeing."

Ball said the race will be more engaging for the people of the province and increase the public's interest in the party.

"I'm looking forward to this race — it's kind of like a marathon in some ways," he said.

"It's going to be a new way of voting, a new way of attracting members and supporters to the Liberal party, so I'm excited about this — it's exactly how I thought it would unfold back over a year ago now, so it's great news for the Liberal party."

The official cut off to enter the race is Friday 5 p.m.

Ball said the Liberal caucus will meet mid-July to elect an interim leader until the role is filled permanently.

The vote for the leadership will take place on September 30.