Hinman says he intends to seek the Wildrose nomination in the southern Alberta constituency of Cardston-Taber-Warner.
He held the seat in the legislature between 2004 and 2008.
Its current MLA, Gary Bikman, was one of nine Wildrose members who joined the Tory government in December.
Hinman says he believes the party will rebound despite those members crossing the floor.
He says a few — quote — "diseased branches" — fell off the Wildrose and he wants to be part of the party's renewal.
"The roots are phenomenally strong," Hinman said Thursday when he made his announcement in Taber. "It's wintertime here in Alberta and wait until you see the regrowth come spring ... the people are true to the principle."
The former leader suggested Alberta still faces a fiscal and political deficit under Premier Jim Prentice's government.
"You're going to find that this is the same old beast that's out of control and the tarnish is going to start showing pretty quick."