Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff has confirmed he will recontest his seat at the next state election, despite rumours to the contrary.
It's been speculated that the popular member for Braddon, who holds the ministerial portfolios of education and mental health and wellbeing, may be preparing to call time on his political career.
But Mr Rockliff has now put those rumours to bed.
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When asked yesterday if he would be seeking reendorsement from the Tasmanian Liberals and if he would serve a full term if reelected, the response from the 19-year veteran of the State Parliament was, "Yes and yes".
After former premier Will Hodgman resigned at the beginning of last year, there were whispers that Mr Rockliff could be his potential successor. But instead he sought to retain his deputy position and ran on an ultimately successful joint ticket with Treasurer Peter Gutwein for the leadership of the Liberal Party.
Mr Rockliff brought in 16,612 first preference votes in Braddon in 2018, topping the poll.
Political analyst Kevin Bonham said the Liberals had "a bit of a personal vote issue" in Braddon, which would have been exacerbated had Mr Rockliff opted to retire.
He noted that Human Services Minister and Mr Rockliff's Braddon colleague, Roger Jaensch, was merely a "moderate vote-getter", while the third Liberal MHA on the North-West Coast, Felix Ellis, had been elected on a recount and was still building his profile.
A Liberal source said the Deputy Premier's decision to contest the election bodes well for the party's hopes of retaining three seats in the electorate.
"He's the big vote-winner and Felix is doing a great job and Roger Jaensch there in the middle," the source said.
Meanwhile, former mining minister Adam Brooks is weighing up a political comeback and could potentially nominate for state preselection in his old seat of Braddon.
He's the big vote-winner and Felix is doing a great job and Roger Jaensch there in the middle.A Liberal source
Dr Bonham said if Mr Brooks was preselected, and all of Mr Rockliff, Mr Jaensch and Mr Ellis were reendorsed as candidates, then Mr Ellis' electoral prospects could be in doubt.
"Suppose that you had Rockliff, Brooks, Jaensch, Ellis all running - Ellis would be facing a very difficult challenge in that situation," Dr Bonham said.
Premier Peter Gutwein said Mr Brooks was a "valuable member of the party" and that he would welcome his interest in a return to public life.
"At the end of the day ... it's a matter for the preselectors of each electorate," Mr Gutwein said in relation to prospective candidates.
The state election is due by March 2022.
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