"Blair's done a great job and I was hoping he'd run for another term, but in light of his decision and after discussions with the Premier's office, I've confirmed that I have let my name stand for the Liberal nomination seat here for the upcoming election."
Bernier says Lekstrom called him after he made his decision, and encouraged him to run for his spot.
"I was very happy that one of the first calls he made was to myself to let me know and kind of gave me the heads up that I would be called by the Premier's office," he says. "It's really humbling when the Premier's office calls you and asks if I would consider running, that they want me on the team."
Although he says he had told himself he would consider the opportunity if it ever arose, Bernier says if Lekstrom had run again, he would not oppose him.
"If Blair was running again this would have been a lot easier decision for me and I wouldn't be doing this, because I would have not been in the position where I would have challenged Blair," he explains. "I think Blair's done an excellent job."
So far, Bernier says he hasn't heard of anyone else considering running for the Liberal nomination, but since it's only been a few days since Lekstrom's announcement, it is still early. If he is successful in getting the Liberal bid, he says he's ready to take on the challenge, in order to make more of a difference for the region.
"I think that I've stepped up and worked really hard as Mayor of the City of Dawson Creek and if I'm successful I'd absolutely miss this job but then I'd get to take it now to a provincial level and hopefully take that work ethic and the passion for Peace Region down to Victoria and continue advocating for the people up here."
A date has not yet been set for the Liberal nomination meeting in the South Peace. The Provincial election is tentatively set for May 14. 2013.