Former TV newsreader Jodi McKay will contest the NSW Labor leadership against right faction colleague Chris Minns arguing she is the party's best hope of beating Gladys Berejiklian in 2023.
Mr Minns, a former ALP official and ministerial staffer, threw his hat in the ring on Thursday stating Labor needed a new generation of leader after three successive state election losses.
Ms McKay announced on Friday she'd nominated because "right now I believe I can beat Gladys Berejiklian".
"I believe I can win the 2023 election," the Strathfield MP told reporters in Homebush West.
Ms McKay said while Mr Minns was talented she was "the best person to lead the Labor party".
"I have the experience and the skills to do this. I can also unite our caucus and we have to have a stable and united team if we are to win that election in 2023," she said.
Mr Minns lacks the support of some unions who remain upset by comments he made during his inaugural speech to parliament in May 2015.
"Trade unions are integral to both our success and our heritage but Labor also needs to represent those who are not in a trade union," the father of three said at the time.
"That will mean taking steps to reduce union control on the floor of our conference."
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union on Thursday was quick to declare it didn't have confidence in the 39-year-old's ability to unite the labour movement.
Ms McKay on Friday said that, following the resignation of former leader Luke Foley and recent state and federal election losses, NSW Labor was now a "humble party".
"It needs to be a party that speaks to everyone," the 49-year-old said.
She took aim at Premier Gladys Berejiklian for leading a coalition government which "has a price on everything but values nothing".
"Her government is a hollow government, a government that is transactional, a government that has sold assets built up over generations for a quick financial fix," Ms McKay said.
The Strathfield MP promised to make education a key priority and said she wanted to see a sustainable community and jobs for young people.
Ms McKay was the member for Newcastle between 2007 and 2011 when she lost her seat. She returned to Macquarie Street at the 2015 election in the seat in Sydney's west.
She was forced on Friday to deny a suggestion - that's dogged her for more than a decade - that she once planned to run in Port Stephens as the Liberal Party candidate.
The idea was "offensive", she said, adding: "I've been a member of this (Labor) party for a very long time, I have Labor values that I will never sway from, so I can categorically deny that."
Nominations for the leadership closed on Friday afternoon.
Interim leader Penny Sharpe has held the top job since Michael Daley stepped down following Labor's resounding defeat in the March state election.
A leadership spill is required following a defeat under the party's rule.
A ballot of both the caucus and rank-and-file members will be held with both blocks given equal weight.
Australian Associated Press