Minutes after Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s election call on Sunday, candidates in the Halifax area kicked off their campaigns.

“I feel very good,” says incumbent Liberal MP Geoff Regan. “Of course this is going to be a very extended campaign period, so it’s more of a marathon than a sprint. But we have a good plan for our campaign and we’re going to stick to our plan.”

Regan says after doing some pre-election canvassing, it’s primarily job growth that’s on the minds of voters in his Halifax West riding.

“We need a stronger economy nationally and we need more happening in Nova Scotia,” he says. “There are some good things, but we need a lot more. I’ll be working very hard to make sure that Nova Scotia’s interests are put forward in Ottawa.”

In Dartmouth, incumbent NDP MP Robert Chisholm was staking out his riding, feeling positive about the extended campaign ahead.

“I’m kind of ready to go, ready to get at it,” he says. “We’ve got a great group of volunteers that are pretty fired up.”

The Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP says he will be going door-to-door to ask constituents what direction the country should be steered.

“We’re going to just continue for the next 78 days to work hard and talk about the issues that I’ve heard people raise that are a concern,” says Chisholm.

While the election call wasn’t completely unexpected, it has still left the parties scrambling. The Conservatives have yet to choose a candidate in the Halifax West riding, though party officials say it will happen soon.

“I’d say by the end of the week we’ll have our candidate in Halifax West,” says Cameron Mackeen, vice-president of the Conservative party.

Mackeen says a week behind in the campaign trail for Halifax West doesn’t worry the party. He says it should be an interesting electionand the party is optimistic.

“Especially in Halifax West, we came a strong second in the riding last election so I think we feel good about all of our chances in all our ridings,” he says. “ So I think it’s going to be a good campaign.”

The Green party has also kicked off its campaign in the area. According to their website, the party is seeking a candidate for Halifax West, as well.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.