MONTREAL -- Sylvain Gaudreault has officially announced his candidacy for the Parti Québécois (PQ) leadership.

The 49-year-old Jonquière MNA was first elected in 2007, defeating former Liberal tourism minister Françoise Gauthier.

Gaudreault served as minister of transport and minister of municipal affairs when Pauline Marois’ PQ government was elected in 2012 and was known as one of the party’s only two LGBTQ+ ministers.

At the time, he became the point person on the government's proposal to electrify public transit across Quebec, with plans to extend the Montreal metro's Blue Line to Anjou and the Yellow Line farther into the Montérégie.

As a member of the opposition, he served as the PQ’s environment and health critic.

Gaudreault has already expressed interest in the party's top job, based on support he received during the PQ’s November convention in Trois-Rivières.

The party caucus chose Gaudreault as its interim leader in 2016 following the resignation of media mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau.

In the 2018 election, Gaudreault was the only PQ MNA to keep his seat in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.

Other potential candidates include Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon, who previously ran for the leadership in 2016, and historian Frédéric Bastien.

The party's leadership has been vacant since Jean-François Lisée stepped down after the Oct. 1 election. The new PQ leader is expected to be chosen in 2020.