Former ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja has not given up on his political career, throwing his hat in the ring for a Senate vacancy across the border.
Mr Seselja, who also served as the ACT's opposition leader, has nominated in a preselection battle for the seat to be vacated by former defence minister Marise Payne.
The former Morrison government minister lost his ACT Senate seat in the May 2022 election to progressive independent David Pocock.
Mr Seselja will face stiff competition for the Senate seat, with former NSW MP Andrew Constance and the former federal member for Wentworth, Dave Sharma, also reported to be in the running.
Mr Constance, a moderate, narrowly missed out on the lower-house seat of Gilmore, after attempting to switch from NSW state parliament.
Mr Sharma lost the seat of Wentworth to independent challenger Allegra Spender, one of the so-called teal independents.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton told Liberal party supporters Mr Seselja's "race is not yet run" at a fundraiser in August.
Nationals senator Matt Canavan and Liberal MP Michael Sukkar - close allies of the conservative political figure - have endorsed his return to federal politics.
Mr Seselja rounded on his critics within the Liberal Party who wanted him to moderate his conservative views after the loss of his ACT Senate seat was confirmed in June 2022, after an extended counting period.
"I have always fought for a better deal for Canberra, and for policies that would have real and positive impacts on the lives on Canberrans," Mr Seselja wrote to supporters following the electoral commission confirmation of his defeat.
He said "rolling over to the left" would have been "ultimately futile" for the party's prospects of regaining government in the ACT, while claiming federally the party would quickly be restored under new Liberal leader, Mr Dutton, who belongs to the same faction of the party as Mr Seselja.
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Mr Seselja said losing government and the ACT Senate seat "is a bitter blow", but "in politics, things change very quickly".
Mr Seselja spent nine years in the Senate, serving as a minister in the Turnbull and Morrison governments. He had served almost nine years in the Legislative Assembly, with half a decade as opposition leader.
Mr Seselja recently entered the debate over the ACT government's compulsory takeover of the Calvary Bruce Public Hospital, describing it as a "pretty dramatic whack against both people of the religious faith, people of Catholic faith, in this case, but also on property rights".
Mr Seselja lists himself in an online profile as a director at Campion College Australia, an independent liberal arts university in Western Sydney, and as an independent director at Group Colleges Australia Pty Ltd.
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