01/22/2015 09:28 EST | Updated 03/24/2015 05:59 EDT

Pascale Déry seeks Conservative nomination in Mount-Royal

A high-profile candidate has joined the race to run for the Conservatives in the riding of Mount-Royal.

Former TVA journalist Pascale Déry is seeking the nomination for the next federal election.

She officially launched her campaign on Wednesday.

She is looking to replace Irwin Cotler, the longtime MNA for Mount-Royal who announced he would retire after his current term. 

If Déry wins the Conservative nomination, Déry could be stiff competition for the Liberal nominee, Côte ​St-Luc mayor Anthony Housefather.

Blaney lends support

Déry gave up her job as a journalist with TVA to make the leap into politics, and has so far earned the support of Quebec cabinet minister Steven Blaney.

"Pascale embodies a new generation. She […] has great skills in communicating," Blaney said.

Déry will face off against newspaper editor Beryl Wajsman and anglo-rights activist Robert Libman for the Conservative nomination.

Mount-Royal, a riding with a large Jewish population, has consistently voted Liberal for the better part of a century.

But supporters like Sonia Peillon hope Déry is the one to break through.

Déry is a young Jewish trilingual woman, and some hope the stark contrast between her and her two male competitors could give her the edge she needs to win.

"We are Liberals since the day we came here — we live in Côte St-Luc and that’s all we knew. But now everything is changing," Peillon said.