FORMER Labor member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly is almost certain to put his hand up to fill an expected senate vacancy should former foreign minister Bob Carr retire from politics.
Mr Carr was only elected to a new, six-year senate term following September's federal election.
Speculation is building however, that the 66-year-old is planning to step down from the role following Labor's electoral defeat.
That would leave the NSW Labor Party in a position to appoint his successor.
Dr Kelly is currently unemployed after losing his seat in parliament to Liberal challenger Peter Hendy at last month's poll.
And the former army colonel confirmed to The Queanbeyan Age earlier this week that he would likely put his name forward for consideration should a senate vacancy arise.
"The first point that needs to be made is that there is no vacancy at present," Dr Kelly said. "Bob's been a good servant to the state of NSW, the nation and the party and he should be able to make up his own mind in good time.
"But given that there has been speculation, in that context a lot of people have been urging me to put my hand up if that situation does eventuate.
"I've had a number of arguments put to me as to why I should look at it ... and I have to say those arguments are very persuasive and do seem to carry a fair amount of logic."
Dr Kelly served two terms as member for Eden-Monaro before being ousted from the marginal seat following a 4.85 per cent swing against him.
Since leaving parliament, the 53-year-old said he had been exploring a number of potential roles outside the political sphere including work with the United Nations.
But despite his recent defeat at the hands of Mr Hendy, Dr Kelly admitted he was already eyeing a possible rematch.
And the one-time minister for defence materiel said a two-year stint in the senate prior to the next federal election would lay the platform for an attempt to win back his former seat in 2016.
"If I was to go down that road in regard to staying in politics, I would do so on the understanding that I would recontest Eden-Monaro at the next federal election," he said.
"All of the polling and the analysis and the feedback we got suggests that the community did give me a lot of credit for the hard work I put in and the many things we achieved [in government].
"Given that level of support and the closeness of the election result, I certainly feel as though recontesting the seat would be feasible."
Dr Kelly's ambitions may prove a moot point however, with many tipping fellow former MP Deborah O'Neill as the most likely candidate for any senate vacancy as Labor attempts to boost the number of women within its ranks.
But Dr Kelly said the likely short-term nature of his appointment combined with his grounding in defence and security policy made him a strong candidate for the role.