A political columnist for the Ottawa Citizen is being dubbed a "star candidate" for the Progressive Conservatives in the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean in the upcoming fall election.

PC Leader Tim Hudak was in Ottawa Tuesday to announce that Randall Denley is seeking the PC nomination in the riding, which is currently held by Liberal MP Bob Chiarelli.

Chiarelli, who is also a former mayor of the City of Ottawa, won the seat in a narrow victory over PC candidate Beth Graham in a by-election last year. Premier Dalton McGuinty later appointed Chiarelli as infrastructure minister.

Denley says he decided to take a run at provincial politics because he wants to make a difference in Ontario's future and he's appalled by the current taxes under the Liberal government.

"I really do think we need to change the government in Ontario. We've got high taxes, we've got the HST, expensive electricity experiments; I just don't think we can afford four more years of Dalton McGuinty," he told CTV Ottawa on Tuesday.

Denley doesn't live in Ottawa West-Nepean. Rather, he lives in the riding next door.

When asked if that's something he might have criticized in his column, Denley responded: "Actually, I don't think I would because it is such a common thing. I don't think it really matters. I mean if I was coming in from Alberta then I guess someone would really have a point to make, but since I'm just coming from a couple of miles down the road, I don't think it's a big issue."

Denley has worked in the riding since 1983 and says he has a strong connection to the area.

A date is yet to be set for the Tory nomination meeting, but no other candidates will be running.

Denley is taking a leave of absence from the Citizen for the length of the campaign.

Voters across Ontario will head to the polls on Oct. 6.