With a search about to begin for a new B.C. NDP leader, Prince George-Valemount provincial council delegate Sherry Ogasawara hopes Adrian Dix's legacy will be the positive tone the party used in the last election campaign.
"Adrian talked a lot over the last year and a half about bringing positivity back into politics," Ogasawara said. "That was one of the things I really embraced; everyone who knows me, knows me as a positive person."
The lack of negative ads was the hallmark of the Dix-led NDP campaign in May, but it didn't translate into enough votes for the party as the Liberals won a fourth straight majority government.
Dix announced his resignation as party leader in a three-step process on Wednesday, first at a meeting with the current caucus, then with the media and finally with his riding association and supporters. He was elected leader in 2011 and led the party to what he described as an "enormously disappointing defeat" in May's election.
With pundits and public opinion polls predicting an NDP victory in the weeks leading up the election, Dix found himself once again on the opposition benches after Christy Clark led the Liberals back into power.
Dix said he expected a close election all along and took responsibility for the defeat.
"The best result for the NDP is a new leader," he said.
Dix defended the party's platform, but said the Liberals were able to unite their voters against the NDP and that was the difference on election night.
Ogasawara, who placed second to Liberal incumbent Shirley Bond in Prince George-Valemount in the spring election, said blaming Dix for the loss would be overly simplistic, but she agreed with his decision to step aside for the good of the party.
She said she will encourage party members not just to look for a new leader but to also closely examine the party's approach to politics and the product it's offering voters.
"We don't just need to look at the person, I think it's looking at the entire package," she said. "Adrian was one person in the mix, he was the lead delivering the message."
No date has been set for a leadership race, but Dix indicated he hoped a new leader would be picked next year. Dix, who will stay on until a new leader is selected, won't endorse any of the candidates.
"Whoever is chosen as the next leader will have my complete support," Dix said.
Ogasawara wasn't ready to name any possible contenders she had her eye on for the leadership, but she said she will be active in the party in the coming months, beginning with a party convention set for November.
"I know whatever direction we move forward in I'll be playing an active role," she said.
Dix will stay on as an MLA and plans to run again to represent the NDP in his Vancouver-Kingsway riding in four years. He plans to follow the model set by Carole James who stepped down as leader following the NDP's loss in the 2009 election, but stayed on as a high-profile member of caucus.