Tain and Easter Ross Councillor Jamie Stone has been chosen by Caithness, Sutherland and Ross Lib Dems to contest the seat as prospective candidate for the Scottish Parliament elections next May.
The former MSP will also top the Highlands and Islands regional list for the Liberal Democrats.
Scottish Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie said: “It will be fantastic to see Jamie Stone return as an MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross. He has a long record of serving his community as a Councillor and serving the Highlands and the country as an MSP.
“Alongside our cracking team in the Highlands, Jamie is well placed to win the seat and return it to the Liberal tradition. I have no doubt he will be a leading light in the campaign for the Highlands and Islands region.
“If is elected I know that he will deliver, and bring the focus of the Scottish Government back to the issues that matter most, like delivering the services we need, creating jobs, building homes and investing in our infrastructure locally.”
David Alston, leader of the Highland Lib Dems on the council, said: “Jamie is an excellent Councillor and has served the people of Tain and Easter Ross with distinction. I look forward to seeing Jamie join our team of Lib Dem MSPs as a representative of the Highlands. His experience and commitment to his community will benefit both Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, and the wider Highlands and Islands."
Jamie Stone said: “I am delighted, and also touched, that my party is keen for me to make a reappearance on the national stage.
“My campaign next year will be a positive one. The message will be that I offer voters experience, knowledge, and a proven track record.
“I come from Tain, and having brought up my family here and having spent almost all my working life here, I can say that I know my home patch. In addition I trust that my nine years as a Ross-shire Councillor and twelve years as the MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross – the last time returned with an increased majority – indicates my experience, and also the fact that voters recognised it.
“There is much to be done for this area though. Health services, schools, local roads, care services, housing, employment, agriculture – we all know the issues that must be raised in Holyrood. Having taken time out of national politics – I stood down as an MSP in 2011 in order to attend to family matters – and also from my recent work as a local Councillor, I can see only too clearly, bottom up, rather than top down, the work that needs to be put in. I am more than ready to roll up my sleeves once again.
“During the months ahead I shall be knocking on doors all around this huge constituency. I am much looking forward to meeting as many people as possible and discussing local needs and concerns. If I was to be fortunate enough to be returned to the Scottish Parliament next May, then the information so gained will prove invaluable.
“Meanwhile if voters want to get an early glimpse of the prospective candidate speaking in public – then they only have to buy tickets for the Tain panto in December – when I shall be playing the arch-baddie Abanazer in Aladdin!”