Nick Ramsay bids for Welsh assembly Tory leadership
Monmouth Conservative AM Nick Ramsay has announced he will stand for the party leadership in the Welsh assembly.
The party's chief whip told the BBC's Politics Show Wales he had the required support of three or more other AMs.
He said Tories had to reach out to people who traditionally did not vote Conservative and there was a risk they "could go backwards" under a rival.
The contest comes after previous leader Nick Bourne lost his seat at the election. Nominations close on Monday.
Mr Ramsay's colleagues Andrew RT Davies and Darren Millar are among those also believed to be considering standing.
Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies, the interim Welsh Tory leader, has said he will not be seeking the post on a long-term basis.
Mr Ramsay said: "I spent the last week talking to other AMs, party officials and my family and I'm now ready and want an open and fair contest."
He added: "We cannot go backwards. I think there's a very real danger that the Welsh Conservatives could go backwards under another candidate.
"It's about making devolution work and strengthening our place in the UK."
Nominees need the support of three other members of the assembly group, which consists of 14 AMs.
If there are more than two candidates then the group will have to decide which two names will be put to the membership.
The final result is expected in mid July.