After months of speculation, Tony Valeri has told local Liberals he will not be running in the next federal election.
And that leaves the door open for former mayor Larry Di Ianni to seek the Liberal nomination in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.
Di Ianni, who made it clear Valeri should have first crack at reclaiming the riding lost last year to the NDP, is considering throwing his hat in the ring but has not made up his mind.
Last year, in the face of party scandals and an onslaught of media stories about Valeri's land flip with a party supporter, it slipped into the hands of New Democrat Wayne Marston by a mere 393-vote margin.
Marston, who has made little impact during his year in Ottawa, is quite rightly seen as vulnerable.
Di Ianni's name as a potential candidate has been kicked around virtually since election night when he lost the mayoral race to Fred Eisenberger, who, ironically enough, ran for the Conservatives in the same riding against Valeri in 2004.
Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins is also seen as a potential contender, if only by virtue of his name having been bandied around for higher office for years. Continued...