Keneally Looks Set for Senate Seat

Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally looks set to snare a Senate seat vacated by Sam Dastyari, after her two main rivals for the plum spot dropped out.

Union bosses Tony Sheldon and Tara Moriarty – the two strongest potential contenders – have decided not to stand for the position, The Australian reports.

This leaves Ms Keneally contesting the post against two former state MPs, Virginia Judge and Barry Collier.

Ms Keneally indicated her interest in the Senate vacancy to Labor Party officials on Wednesday.

“Over the coming days I will be speaking with rank-and-file members of the NSW ALP and affiliated trade unions to the Labor Party to seek their support,” she told Fairfax Media.

“I respect the ALP’s nomination process and will work within it to earn the backing of our party’s members and the affiliated trade unions.”

Nominations formally open next week and close on February 1, with the party’s administrative committee to confirm who fills the vacancy the following day.

Mr Dastyari announced he was quitting politics late last year amid scrutiny of his dealings with a Chinese businessman and political donor.

Ms Keneally failed in her bid to take the federal seat of Bennelong in a December by-election, but Labor sources say she has been keen for some time to move to Canberra.