The Progressive Unionist Party's new leader has said her number one priority was to retain David Ervine's assembly seat.
Dawn Purvis is a member of the Policing Board
Dawn Purvis has succeeded Mr Ervine, who died suddenly earlier this month at the age of 53.
The Policing Board member was selected at a meeting of the UVF-linked party's executive in Belfast.
"It is a huge challenge to step into this role, especially after the good work David did," she said.
"There was sadness at the meeting last night (Monday) obviously at David's passing," she told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme.
"David influenced so many of us in his life and his work. His death has really impressed upon us all the need and the determination to carry on with that."
She said her number one priority was to win the assembly seat held by Mr Ervine.
"I want to make sure that seat is retained by the PUP and ensure the loyalist community in East Belfast have that voice.
"It is really important that the loyalist needs and concerns are articulated very well right throughout the community."