The race to lead the Saskatchewan NDP is underway, and a Saskatoon MLA has become the first to throw his hat into the ring.

Cam Broten, member for Saskatoon Massey Place, announced Wednesday he wants to lead the New Democrats.

Broten, 34, said it's time to rebuild the NDP so that the party appeals to more people.  

"It's really about extending opportunity to individuals, having a healthier society, having a healthier province, and having more opportunity," he said.

The provincial NDP has had John Nilson as its interim leader since the last provincial election. That's when the party lost more than half its seats, including one lost by then-leader Dwain Lingenfelter.

Among those who won't be running is Deb Higgins, a former MLA and cabinet minister who's chair of the leadership contest that launched Tuesday.

"There's a number of folks that are out there that are looking to lead the New Democratic Party and it's time for a real renewal — to see some young people step forward and add their voices to the party," Higgins said.

More candidates are expected to step forward in the next few days.

Party members elect a leader at a convention being held March 9-13, 2013.