With just days to go until the formal launch of the federal Liberal leadership race, a sixth candidate has laced up his trainers, ending speculation about his plans.

Victoria resident David Merner, who resigned recently as president of the B.C. branch of the Liberal Party, has officially announced he will run for the party’s top job.

Merner joins David Bertschi, Alex Burton, Deborah Coyne, Jonathan Mousley and Justin Trudeau.

Candidate registration opens on Wednesday, with the deadline for nominations set for Jan. 14, 2013.

The winner will be announced in Ottawa on April 14, 2013.

Federal Liberals have been led by interim boss Bob Rae since former leader Michael Ignatieff stepped down after the party placed behind the NDP in the May, 2011, national election that restored the Conservative party to a majority government.