A THROW-away line or a hint at something more? Joel Fitzgibbon has teased everyone on Monday, suggesting he's a chance of nominating for the Labor leader following Bill Shorten's resignation from the role.
News outlets all across the country have been speculating on a comment from Mr Fitzgibbon after the experienced MP, who is widely expected to retain his seat of Hunter despite challenges from One Nation and The Nationals, seemingly suggested that he will contest the opposition leader position.
Speaking to the Newcastle Herald, he had this to say on Monday following Labor's calamitous performance in the 2019 federal election.
"We need to put more focus on regional and rural Australia, our performance in the regions was abysmal," Mr Fitzgibbon stated.
"If no candidate commits to those things, I may have to consider running myself."
As the former Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Chief Government Whip in the House of Representatives and Minister for Defence, Mr Fitzgibbon's pedigree and respected standing within the party could make him a dark horse for the coveted spot.
Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen, shadow environment minister Tony Burke and shadow defence minister Richard Marles have also all been touted as potential replacements for Mr Shorten.
However, frontbencher Anthony Albanese remains the favourite for the role he narrowly missed out on in 2013.