Huw Lewis, the Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney AM, has just announced his intention to stand in the contest to replace Rhodri Morgan as leader of Welsh Labour.
Mr Lewis also revealed that he already has the six nominations from fellow Labour AMs required to proceed past the first hurdle in the selection.
“This contest could not come at a more important time – for the Labour Party and for Wales. Our party stands at a crossroads. We can plough on in the same direction, a direction that worked for us in the past, or we can take a new departure.
“Wales, I believe, demands of us that we take a new departure. The country needs a radical and bold vision of the future, based on co-operative values. I have a clear idea of what a better Wales will look like and I want to get on and start building it.
“I am honoured to have the support of enough Labour AMs to become a candidate in this contest. There is a strong appetite throughout the party for a meaningful debate on how we translate our traditional values into new, modern policies that will win back voters. There has been an element of drift during the last three elections, I want to put a halt to that.
“All I ask from MPs, AMs, party members, trade unionists and affiliates is that they keep an open mind during the weeks ahead. I genuinely believe that this debate is too important for old ideas, alliances or prejudices to dictate decisions – I’ll be very happy if people make up their minds on what they see and hear during the contest.”
Lewis’ endorsements so far have come from Lynne Neagle, Karen Sinclair, Irene James, Joyce Watson and Ann Jones.