SDLP councillor Claire Hanna has been selected to take over the south Belfast Assembly seat held by party leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell.
He stepped down last week but will remain as the local MP and party leader until he faces a challenge.
She was also chosen, along with current MLA Fearghal McKinney, to run in the 2016 assembly election.
Ms Hanna missed out two years ago to Mr McKinney after Conall McDevitt resigned.
Ms Hanna said: “I’m committed to the challenges of defending the SDLP’s second seat in this constituency, refocusing our party and restoring public faith in local politics, which has been in decline for a number of years.”
Dr McDonnell said: “In Claire and Fearghal we have selected the two strongest choices of any party in South Belfast.
“I am confident that they will be successful in retaining two seats in this constituency in 2016, and continue to provide people here with effective representation and progressive politics.”