NEWCASTLE, N.B. -- Kevin Vickers, hailed as a hero for helping to end the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill, is making a leap to politics.

The former House of Commons sergeant-at-arms announced today in Newcastle, N.B., that he is seeking the Liberal leadership in New Brunswick.

Vickers is seeking to replace former premier Brian Gallant, who lost power last fall after the Liberals failed to form a minority government in the weeks following the tight Sept. 24 provincial election.

Vickers retired this month as Canada's ambassador to Ireland, and has been travelling New Brunswick over the last two weeks.

He has deep roots in the province. His father, Bill, helped establish the Northumberland co-op dairy decades ago.

Vickers had a long career of public service, including 29 years in the RCMP. He also served as aide-de-camp for the lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick. He served as sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons between 2006 and 2015.

On Oct. 22, 2014, Vickers was serving as sergeant-at-arms of the Commons when he shot and helped take down a man armed with a .30-30 rifle. Michael Zihaf Bibeau had barged into Centre Block on Parliament Hill after killing honour guard reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial.

Vickers was appointed ambassador to Ireland in January 2015 by then-prime minister Stephen Harper.

Rene Ephestion, who leads the New Brunswick Liberal Multicultural Inclusion Commission, and Gaetan Pelletier, a businessman from Charlo, have also announced their intention to run for the provincial Liberal leadership.

Tory Premier Blaine Higgs' minority government is relying on support from a third party - the right-leaning People's Alliance, led by Kris Austin. But that arrangement is set to expire next year.