New federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is a former Windsorite, something an area MPP believes could benefit the region.

Lisa Gretzky worked alongside Singh in Queen's Park and said the 38-year-old who spent his teen years in the area is uniquely positioned among other federal leaders to understand what life is like in Windsor-Essex.

"Based on having a leader who has lived in the region and understands the struggles that we have and also the things that we're able to celebrate," she said. "I think it's really important that we have that in a federal leader."

Singh won 53 per cent of the vote on the first ballot, well ahead of MP's Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Guy Caron.

The former MPP for the riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton at Queen's Park served as the Ontario NDP party's critic for justice and consumer services before party leader Andrea Horwath named him her deputy in 2015.

He speaks fluent French and Punjabi, worked as a criminal defence lawyer and won the Toronto championships in Brazilian jiu-jitsu while in high school.

Singh was born in Scarborough, Ont., in 1979, was raised in Newfoundland and Labrador and moved to Windsor when he was seven.

President of the Sikh Cultural Society of Windsor Harjinder Singh Kandola said Singh has made members of his community proud.

"Jagmeet is standing for courage to stand for love to fight politics of hate, fear and division which is most important today," he said. "He has become a champion to stand unapologetically proud and tall to become voice of all minorities."

-with files from Peter Zimonjic