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A former B.C. Conservative candidate in the last election has announced he'll run for the party's top job.

Dan Brooks, who ran in the Nechako Lakes riding in the May election, says he believes Conservatives living in the Interior, north and rural parts of the province will decide the next leader of the party.

Brooks is a resort owner who had been serving on the party's executive, and he says those regions have been ignored for too long by the provincial government in Victoria.

The leadership job came open when former federal MP John Cummins stepped aside earlier this year after his party was trounced by the Liberals during the spring election.

Although the Conservatives came close to winning two by-elections in 2012, internal squabbling contributed to a distant third-place showing in the provincial campaign.

Brooks obtained about 13 per cent of the popular vote in his riding.