01/09/2012 11:14 EST | Updated 03/10/2012 05:12 EST

NDP to select nominee for Jack Layton's riding

NDP members living in the riding of Toronto-Danforth have chosen law professor Craig Scott to replace the late Jack Layton.

Scott beat out two other nominees Monday evening to represent the party in an upcoming byelection in the riding. The date for the byelection has yet to be announced.

A law professor specializing in human rights, Scott received a number of high-profile endorsements, including from Layton's political mentor, Charles Taylor, and former Ontario NDP president Janet Solberg.

Scott beat out Claire Prashaw, a teacher who worked in Layton's constituency office, and Justin Duncan, an environmentalist and lawyer, to secure the party's nomination on the first ballot. He took more than half of the over 480 ballots that were cast.

"My head's spinning, I have to say," Scott said shortly after the results were announced. "I wasn't fully prepared for the first ballot because Claire Prashaw, in particular, had run an amazing campaign."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has until Feb. 22 to announce the date of the byelection.

Layton held the Toronto-Danforth riding for more than seven years prior to his death in August

The riding is located east of downtown Toronto and represents a diverse section of the city. Affluent enclaves are located alongside co-operatives and social housing. The area also includes large Chinese, Greek and South Asian communities, whose support will be key for the NDP to hang on to the seat.