Planning Minister Rob Stokes has thrown his hat in the ring to become the next NSW premier a day after Gladys Berejiklian resigned amid revelations of a corruption watchdog investigation into her conduct.
Mr Stokes, a senior member of the Liberal Party’s moderate faction, became the first person to officially nominate to replace Ms Berejiklian when he issued a statement on Saturday afternoon.
The former education minister said he believed he had a track record that made him the best candidate to take the party to the next election.
“I have the right balance of experience, vision and integrity needed during this crucial time in our history, as we continue to respond to and recover from the pandemic,” Mr Stokes said.
“The NSW Coalition is the best team to ensure our recovery succeeds, and I believe I am the best person to lead the government into the critical next election.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet remains the favourite to replace Ms Berejiklian at a partyroom meeting on Tuesday, while Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres is also said to be considering nominating for the top job.
Mr Stokes, who missed the contest to replace Mike Baird in 2017 because he was in the United Kingdom, said he had asked his colleagues for their support, adding many had encouraged him to nominate for leader.
“I am blessed to have the support of my family in making this decision and I will continue speaking with my colleagues over the weekend,” he said.