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New Democrat Jack Harris represented St. John's East in the House of Commons between 1987 and 1988. ((CBC))

Veteran New Democrat Jack Harris made a bid Monday for a political comeback, announcing his candidacy in the same riding that sent him to Ottawa more than 20 years ago.

Harris, who led Newfoundland and Labrador's New Democrats from 1992 to 2006, will represent the party in St. John's East in the Oct. 14 federal election.

He made the announcement late Monday afternoon at a news conference, telling reporters he was back running federally because he believes people in the province want representation in Parliament from an MP who will demand what Newfoundland and Labrador deserves.

Harris, who is close with NDP Leader Jack Layton, comes out of political retirement as Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is vowing to defeat Conservative candidates in the Oct. 14 general election.

Harris will face off against Liberal Walter Noel, a former provincial cabinet minister, and journalist Craig Westcott, who is representing the Conservatives.

Harris won a byelection in St. John's East — which had voted Tory for three decades straight — in July 1987. His tenure as an MP was short-lived, however, as Progressive Conservative Ross Reid defeated him in the 1988 general election.

Harris, a labour lawyer, turned his attention to provincial politics in 1990, winning a downtown St. John's seat in the house of assembly in a byelection. He retired from provincial politics in September 2006 to resume his law career full-time. He had stepped down as provincial party leader the previous spring.