But he looks to be a stronger candidate than he did four years ago, when he first stood to be West Midlands Mayor.
As voting opens all three contenders have secured the backing from high profile figures – including council leaders and cabinet members.
Instead the Party talks about “consolidation”, but is that just a sign that the reforms have no champion left in Number 10?
Perhaps there are lessons from Andy Street’s victory in the West Midlands.
Elsewhere, the Conservatives snatch Teesside and gain the West of England in a fine day for the Party. And Burnham wins big for Labour in Manchester.