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B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins at his campaign office in Langley Sept. 17, 2012.John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins says he will try to get into the B.C. Legislature this May by running in Langley – the riding now held by Transportation Minister Mary Polak, who won 57 per cent of the vote in the last election.

The former Conservative MP acknowledged he will face a "tough challenge" to win the riding away from the B.C. Liberals in the May 14 election.

"I go into a race with the idea that I'm losing," said Mr. Cummins. "I run like I am losing. That's what we will be doing this time, running like we're losing."

He said he is hoping issues around transportation, including equitable rapid-transit service for the riding, will give him some political traction on Ms. Polak, whose nearest 2009 rival was a B.C. NDP candidate who won 36 per cent of the vote.

Ms. Polak has held the riding since 2005.

Mr. Cummins said one other hurdle for him will be juggling his riding campaign with his leadership of the B.C. Conservatives, who lost their sole MLA – John van Dongen – when Mr. van Dongen quit the party last fall due to a disagreement over Mr. Cummins' leadership style.

Mr. Cummins has not been officially nominated to be the party stalwart in the riding, but said he doubted he would face a contest from another candidate.

"The reality is someone could challenge that. I don't think that's likely to happen, but it's always possible."

He said the party will be disclosing soon that it has candidates nominated or approved in 40 of 85 ridings ahead of the May vote, and that he expects the party will "absolutely" have candidates in each of the ridings by the time voters go to the polls.