10/16/2014 01:08 EDT | Updated 12/16/2014 05:59 EST

Moncton-area lawyer says she will seek leadership of New Brunswick New Democrats

MONCTON, N.B. - An Acadian lawyer says she intends to seek the leadership of the New Brunswick New Democratic Party and the nomination to be a candidate in the riding of Saint John East.

Joyce Richardson, who lives in Dieppe, near Moncton, said while she has voted for the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives in the past, it was Jack Layton's leadership that convinced her to switch her support to the NDP.

"The NDP is the only party that is progressive in social justice and sustainable economic development, the two fields I feel strongly about," Richardson, a 53-year-old single mother of three children, said in a statement Thursday.

The NDP later said Richardson is not a member of the party.

Dominic Cardy announced he was going to resign as NDP leader after the party failed to win any seats in the Sept. 22 election. He remains leader until a leadership convention.

The party has yet to schedule a date for that convention and no date has been set for a byelection in Saint John East, which became vacant after the sudden resignation Tuesday of Liberal Gary Keating.

Keating, who was first elected in the election but had not been sworn in yet, said he decided to quit after realizing that the long hours and travel associated with the job would have a negative impact on his health and his family.