As the day gets closer for current First Minister Mark Drakeford to step down from the role, the two candidates in the running are seeking out votes.

On Friday the 16th of February, the ballot opened in the contest to lead Welsh Labour and become the next First Minister. The two candidates in the running are Vaughan Gething, currently Minister for the Economy of Wales, and Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language.

On Thursday night, they took part in an online hustings. Now, Labour members and members of affiliate organisations can have their say on who takes over from Mark Drakeford, and the ballots will close on the 14th of March.

Matthew Dorrance, recently selected by local party members as Welsh Labour's parliamentary candidate for the new Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe constituency in the general election, has endorsed Vaughan Gething, citing his ‘positive vision’ for Wales. Matthew has joined the rest of the party in the Brecon, Radnor and Cwm-Tawe Labour party.

Speaking to The Brecon and Radnor Express, Matthew said: “This is a huge moment for Wales. We face a Tory cost-of-living crisis and expect a General Election any day. We need a leader who’s ready from day one to be able to meet those challenges. I believe Vaughan has the experience, values, and vision needed to do just that.

“As a Welshman born in Zambia, Vaughan knows what it’s like to face prejudice. That’s why he’s dedicated his life to standing up for social justice, as a trade union shop steward, trade union lawyer, devolution campaigner, councillor, MS, and Minister.

“As Health Minister during Covid, he was tested in the toughest circumstances. While Tories partied in No10, Vaughan and Mark worked around the clock to keep Wales safe alongside our brilliant NHS, trade unions, and councils. Under the highest pressure, he stepped up, kept his judgement and stood firm with our shared values.

“Vaughan has a positive vision for the future of the country and it matches what I want to see for communities in Powys too.

“His first pledge in this campaign was for a Welsh NHS, safe in public hands and always the budget priority. For services focused on improving both physical and mental health, and social care fit for our future.

“He has made clear his commitment to green prosperity, with green job creation at the heart of protecting Wales’ future. A just transition, tackling poverty and protecting our planet, with good jobs and community wealth.

“Vaughan wants everyone to have a place called home by accelerating social housing construction and investing in our communities through reliable, affordable public transport and devolving powers and funding to local government.

“On education, he’s standing for educational opportunity at every age and stage of life, expanding childcare and apprenticeships. A Welsh Government with his leadership will focus on achieving excellence in our schools and colleges, working with teachers and support staff.

“And he also wants to build a stronger Wales, together, with more powers for Wales and across Wales. With Vaughan we will be an ambitious, progressive nation taking its place on the world stage with a thriving future for Cymraeg.

“As a Councillor, the pledges around housing, transport, and devolving powers and funding to local government are particularly important to me. I can see how a First Minister with these priorities would help make a real difference to people’s daily lives in communities here.

“With all this, it comes as no surprise to me that the local Brecon, Radnor and Cwm-Tawe Labour Party voted to support Vaughan, along with 13 others across the country.

“And likewise it comes as no surprise that the majority of Labour Group leaders on councils across Wales are backing Vaughan. That includes councils where Labour is in power, like in Bridgend and Torfaen, but also places where Labour is working in coalition, like here in Powys, or in opposition like on Ynys Môn. As a former Councillor himself, Vaughan has been clear that he will work with councillors in a partnership of equals.

“That’s the energy and attitude we need in a leader – a focus on bringing people together and delivering for all of us, right across the country.”

The leader will be chosen in mid-March, and more than 100,000 people will have the chance to vote.