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Jessica Rudd denies plans to run for her father Kevin Rudd's seat of Griffith

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Mark Kenny, Chris Johnson

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'Lionise Kevin' says Rudd supporter

As Kevin Rudd leaves federal politics, will his party look beyond years of bruising leadership fights and install his as a Labor great?

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Jessica Rudd has ruled herself out of consideration as a possible replacement for her father Kevin Rudd who resigns from Parliament at the end of the week.

Kevin Rudd is farewelled after he announced his resignation at Parliament House in Canberra, 13 November 2013. Click for more photos

Kevin Rudd quits politics

A view of Kevin Rudd over the years after his surprise announcement he is leaving Parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Speculation over Ms Rudd’s potential candidacy exploded in Canberra on Thursday after senior Labor sources claimed Mr Rudd had backed his daughter’s entry to Federal Parliament via his south Brisbane seat of Griffith.

A senior source has claimed Mr Rudd, had already sought and received assurances from key power brokers to have Jessica anointed as his replacement in a bid to hold the seat for Labor in what is expected to be a difficult byelection for Labor.

Labor sources on the ground in Brisbane said the idea made a lot of sense because Ms Rudd offered the party perhaps the best chance of retaining the seat that Mr Rudd had held at the September poll by a narrow margin of just 3 per cent.

Kevin Rudd is believed to have "struck a deal" to get his daughter Jessica preselected.

Kevin Rudd is believed to have "struck a deal" to get his daughter Jessica preselected. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

A source said the understanding was that Mr Rudd had “struck a deal” to get Jessica pre-selected.

The insider told Fairfax Media that Mr Rudd was encouraged to retire as soon as possible but had indicated he wouldn’t go until he had “looked after” Griffith.

“He’s done some deal to get Jessica pre-selected,” the source said.

“We don’t know what that will mean for grassroots pre-selection. But Kevin wants to get Jessica up.”

Other party sources were unaware of the speculation, although one senior Labor operative confirmed the rumours.

“That’s what Kevin wants and he has probably gotten his way.”

A senior Labor official in Mr Rudd’s electorate, refused to be drawn on the speculation but encouraged Ms Rudd to ‘‘throw her hat in the ring’’ along with as many other hopefuls as wanted to.

Another strategist conceded Ms Rudd’s candidacy, were it to come about, might be the only way to ensure the former Labor jewel is not lost to the LNP, whose high profile candidate, Bill Glasson, performed strongly at the September general election.

Strategists on both sides of politics have been eyeing the Griffith electorate given an expectation that the former prime minister might pull the pin on his parliamentary career at some point during the current term.

Ms Rudd, 30, is married and currently lives in Beijing.

However sources close to the former prime minister emphatically denied he was interested in seeing Jessica take over, and in fact was on the record as favouring a full open pre-selection process.

‘‘It is total bullshit,’’ said one.

The confidant said it was also the case that Mr Rudd had made clear that he favoured another candidate, with his daughter not even in considerations.

I'm flattered to be considered a potential candidate but I spent the morning writing with Josie on our Beijing play-mat surrounded by Duplo.

For now, this is where I belong.

Our local branch members will choose an excellent candidate for this by-election—big boots to fill—and that person can count on my support.

Brisbane industrial lawyer Teri Butler, is considered a strong contender and is expected to put her name forward forcefully.

At least two former state MPs defeated in the last landslide election that installed the Newman LNP government, were also possible contenders.

Early on Thursday afternoon however, Ms Rudd used the micro-blog site, Twitter to end the speculation regarding her own ambitions.

‘‘I'm flattered to be considered a potential candidate but I spent the morning writing with Josie on our Beijing play-mat surrounded by Duplo.’’ she wrote.

‘‘For now, this is where I belong.

‘‘Our local branch members will choose an excellent candidate for this by-election - big boots to fill - and that person can count on my support.’’

Peter Hartcher on Labor

105 comments

  • Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water....

    Commenter
    Oz
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    November 14, 2013, 1:31PM
    • It's okay! No cause for alarm. She's a woman so she'll never be treated seriously anyway....

      Commenter
      Big Chief Misogyny
      Location
      bra
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 2:20PM
    • Jessica Rudd would make a very good politician. She is also a very inspiring, wise woman for her age. Maybe she would have the balls to tackle some of the key issues that most politicians will not go near. I would embrace some more young talent & enthusiasm in parliament.
      Those petty enough to not look beyond their own judgements of Kevin ... wake up to yourselves you mean spirited creatures.

      Commenter
      Yuppy
      Location
      Yuppy Ville
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 2:20PM
    • Does anyone really think Ms Rudd will win. Her father only scraped in on Green preferences.
      The ALP really make me want to cringe lately. Mr Glasson must be licking his lips. Maybe He will be able to use Mr Rudds line against his daughter. " Eat your heart out"

      Commenter
      Griffith Lovers Fan Club
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 2:29PM
    • ...and so the Kingdom continues. Who said nepotism and politics don't mix?

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 2:32PM
    • The irony is that she is a very articulate and intelligent person, and would make a good candidate in her own right, but she will never be able to shed herself of the shackles of her once-beloved father. Before everyone jumps on the "Kevin is the devil" bandwagon let's not forget he was once the most popular PM ever. That he turned out to be an arch-ratbag was as much to do with the internal machinations and public spectacle of the self-immolating ALP as anything else.

      As for those who say Rudd "wouldn't have won without Greens preferences" - just where do you think they were ever going to go? The simple fact is there were more than 50% of his electorate who chose to not vote conservative - get over yourselves.

      Commenter
      BC
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 3:03PM
    • At least Jessica don't look like him but its obviously in the genes so beware Queensland and Australia...

      Commenter
      Rastus321
      Location
      NGC QLD.
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 3:08PM
    • Yes, how very Labor. Perhaps Kev could give his son a job also, he could make a great campaign adviser.

      When will Labor ever see the people first and themselves second rather than the other way around?

      Commenter
      housemartin
      Location
      Hong Kong
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 3:09PM
    • Given that Abbott spent his time during the last campaign surrounding himself with his daughters straight out of a Robert Palmer clip, I believe Jessica would have a very good chance and winning. She has sex appeal as well.

      Commenter
      Hugh Heffner
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 3:19PM
    • that whole dynasty thing to one side for now I actually think she'd be pretty good as well ...

      Commenter
      juileep
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      November 14, 2013, 3:29PM

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