Former Prince George Mayor Colin Kinsley has officially announced his bid for the federal Conservative candidate nomination.

Kinsley is one of six people who have so far announced their candidacy to replace Jay Hill, who is the current MP for the Prince George – Peace River riding.

The race has gone into overdrive since Hill formally announced he would be stepping down as of Oct. 25.

Kinsley says he feels he would make a good candidate as he has been a life-long Conservative party member. He also says he believes strongly both in diversifying the riding’s economy and in economic development.

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Kinsley says expanding to other markets also means decreasing the region’s reliance on exporting to the United States. He adds that the United States is still Canada’s biggest trading partner and cannot be forgotten, however expanding into other developing markets will help create a stronger economy.

He says he has been a strong supporter and promoter of exporting British Columbian products, such as beef, to Asian markets like China and Korea.

Kinsley was the mayor of Prince George from December 1996 to November 2008. He is currently the chair of the Northern Gateway Alliance. According to the Alliance’s website, it is “a coalition of community leaders supporting the regulatory review of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project.”

He is the second person from Prince George to declare his candidacy, after City Councillor Cameron Stoltz. He will also be running against Fort St. John City Councillors Dan Davies and Don Irwin, along with Tumbler Ridge City Councillor Jerrilyn Schembri and teacher Bob Zimmer.