Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm will quit federal politics next month to contest the NSW state election.
The move sets pits Senator Leyonhjelm against one-time Liberal Democrats member and former Labor leader Mark Latham, who is running for One Nation in the state’s upper house at the March 23 election.
The crossbench senator was first elected to the upper house at the 2013 federal poll and was re-elected at the 2016 double dissolution election.
Speaking to Sky News he said the switch had been triggered because he wants to fight the “nanny state”.
“Red-tape issues are the ones that really annoy me and get up my nose,” he told Sky News.
“For example liquor licensing, where you can smoke, where you can vape, gambling, lock-out laws, assisted suicide, cannabis legalisation.”
The controversial senator, who first elected to the senate in 2013 and re-elected in 2016, has repeatedly been taken to task over his outspoken views on everything from immigration through to the #MeToo push.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young began legal action against the Liberal Democrat earlier in 2018, after he told her to “stop shagging men” during a debate on legislation seeking to prevent violence against women.
Late last year he also came under fire for making a speech thanking the “young brown men” of Australia.
“They drive me in their Ubers and taxis. They deliver my online purchases, my groceries and my pizza. And they serve me at my local 7-Eleven, at my local service station, and my local restaurants,” he told the Senate.
“Many of these young brown men have only been in Australia for a decade or so, and they are giving it go, just like previous generations of young migrants.”
The comments were slammed by the Greens and migrant groups.
Senator Leyonhjelm flagged a possible state run late last year.