BALLARAT MP Catherine King has sent a letter to local Labor members throwing her support behind Anthony Albanese as the next leader of the party.
Mr Albanese is taking on ex-education minister Bill Shorten in a battle for the Labor leadership, which will for the first time include a vote from rank and file members.
Recent rule changes mean that the vote will be split 50-50 between caucus and grassroots members, with the results of the ballot revealed on October 13.
Ballarat Labor members have been receiving their parliamentary leader ballot papers in the mail in the last couple of weeks and must return them by October 9.
In a letter to members, Ms King said she had been asked by a number of people who she would be supporting in the ballot.
Despite not normally commenting on leadership matters to the media, Ms King endorsed the former deputy prime minister.
“As someone who cares passionately about what happens in our regions I am writing to let you know I am supporting Anthony Albanese,” she wrote.
Ms King said she had worked closely with Mr Albanese on regional and local government issues.
A promotion to the outer ministry earlier this year saw Ms King work under Mr Albanese when he was Minister for Regional Development and Local Government.
She lauded the projects that he had supported.
“No one has done more to secure infrastructure funding for our regions than Anthony,” she wrote.
“Whether it is roads, rail, community infrastructure or connecting our ports, our regions have been front and centre.”
Ms King joins a number of senior Labor figures to give the tick to Mr Albanese, including Greg Combet, Anna Bligh and Penny Wong.