Labour leadership hopeful Anas Sarwar claims he has the support of more than a quarter of the party’s councillors as nominations for the post open.
Scottish Labour is hunting for a new leader after Richard Leonard dramatically quit the post last week.
Mr Sarwar, who stood against Mr Leonard in the last leadership election in 2017, is running again.
Within 24 hours of announcing he would stand, the Glasgow MSP said he had the support of 66 Labour councillors.
With those seeking to be the next leader also needing four nominations from Labour parliamentarians before noon on Tuesday January 19, Mr Sarwar added he had already achieved this.
So far both he and and Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon have announced their intention to stand – with whoever succeeds Mr Leonard having to lead the party in the Holyrood elections in May.
Mr Sarwar said: “More than ever, our country needs political leadership that will bring people together.
“The next parliament must be a Covid Recovery Parliament that prioritises people’s jobs and our NHS, so that we never again have to choose between treating a virus or treating cancer.
“Our opponents want to take us back to old divisive politics, which is why we need to rebuild Scottish Labour and then work to rebuild Scotland.
“Our local councils will be at the forefront of that recovery, but they have been starved of funding for years by the SNP. It’s time for a fair deal for local authorities, and I’m delighted to have the support of so many Labour councillors who work hard every day for their communities.
“I welcome the opportunity to put my vision to members and look forward to a friendly and positive campaign that demonstrates the very best of our party.”
Under the timetable already set out by the party, voting in the leadership contest will open on Tuesday, February 9, and run till Friday, February 26, with the winner announced at a special online event on Saturday, February 27.