Shane Dyson was selected as the NDP's provincial candidate for the Fort Langley-Aldergrove riding on the weekend.
Dyson, who last ran provincially in 2005, defeated Gail Chaddock-Costello in a vote of NDP members.
"It likely will be one of the tougher races," said Dyson, who will face off against MLA Rich Coleman, a longtime Liberal cabinet minister and currently the deputy premier.
However, the Liberals have been trailing the NDP in the polls for months.
"It's different times now in this constituency," said Dyson.
Since the last time he ran, thousands of people have moved to the riding and its demographics are changing, he said.
There are two new party leaders, with Adrian Dix for the NDP and Christy Clark for the Liberals.
The NDP has an 85seat strategy and plans to contest every seat, Dyson said.
This was the first contested nomination in the riding that Dyson can remember in some time. The two candidates signed up more members, and local membership has doubled, Dyson said.
A number of lapsed NDP members have also renewed their membership cards in recent months, he said. The election will be held next spring.