A trade union boss must battle it out with three Birmingham Labour Party members for the chance to succeed Sion Simon as MP for Erdington.
Unite deputy general secretary Jack Dromey, the husband of Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman, was joined by Birmingham city councillors Ansar Ali Khan, Gurdial Singh Atwal and former councillor Steve Bedser on the shortlist.
It is believed the Party was inundated with more than 50 applications from prospective candidates for the safe Labour seat and whittled it down to four.
A Labour spokesman said: “The members in Erdington have a choice from three candidates with a strong local track record and one national big hitter.”
The three Birmingham candidates are stressing their local credentials following a backlash by rank-and-file party members against the imposition of ‘parachute’ candidates by the national party.
Unusually for a Labour contest, particularly one with such interest from equalities minister Harriet Harman, not one woman made the final list, even though several were thought to be interested.
Steve Bedser, a former Labour council front bencher and expert on climate change, said: “I am a local person with a track record in Birmingham.
“As a member for Longbridge, I lived through the dark days of the collapse of MG Rover and I know first-hand what a difference an MP can make. I know what succeed.”
Councillor Ansar Ali Khan (Washwood Heath) said: “I am the only one who lives in the constituency. I know the problems in the area.”
Coun Khan, a magistrate, added that he had no concern over rivals exploiting a controversial video in which he asked volunteers to shed their blood for Kashmir.
Coun Gurdial Singh Atwal (Handsworth Wood) said he will be campaigning for jobs, education and to improve the neighbourhood. “I have lived in Birmingham since 1968 and I know the local issues and problems.”
Mr Dromey stressed that, through his union position, he had been fighting for working Brummies for the last 25 years and vowed to keep up that work if chosen as MP.
The 176 local Labour members will vote in a postal ballot with the result due on Friday, February 26.