Bathurst MP Paul Toole has confirmed he will contest the leadership of the NSW Nationals and office of deputy premier on Wednesday in a bid to succeed the outgoing John Barilaro.
The Deputy Leader of the NSW Nationals will be taking on Oxley MP and Minister for Water Melinda Pavey for the role when Mr Barilaro calls for a party room ballot on Wednesday.
Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall is also hotly tipped to contest the leadership.
Mr Toole said he had made his mind up about running soon after Mr Barilaro's resignation, but wanted to allow his outgoing colleague time to navigate the media spotlight.
"Today, I am announcing my intention to run for the leadership of the NSW Nationals, and having been deputy for three years and someone who lives and breathes regional NSW, I want to continue the strong work of John Barilaro to bring vital investment into our regions," Mr Toole said.
"This is a time where we need strong, stable leadership. We're coming out of a pandemic, and people in our communities are wanting to see kids getting back to school and their businesses opening their doors again so they can get back to work."
If elected, Mr Toole will be the first ever deputy premier to hail from Bathurst, in NSW's Central West.
The news comes after Dominic Perrottet was officially announced as the new leader of the NSW Liberal Party and incoming Premier on Tuesday morning.