Former Newcastle independent councillor Aaron Buman hopes to contest the December local government election for the Liberals.
Mr Buman was a Newcastle councillor from 2004 to 2012 and has recently fought a series of high-profile legal battles with City of Newcastle over his boarding houses.
He said on Wednesday that he would have preferred his potential candidacy to remain confidential but confirmed the Liberal party had approached him to run as a councillor in Ward 1.
He said the party's state executive would decide whether to endorse his candidacy in the next fortnight.
"That's not confirmed yet," he said. "There's some other people who want to run.
"It's got to go to a selection criteria. It goes to the executive, I believe."
Mr Buman, who has joined the Liberal party, said he had "never lost the passion" for the city or local government.
He said he disagreed strongly with the way the council was being run, especially the decision to sell its offices and move to rented premises on a 15-year lease in Newcastle West.
"All councillors agreed to that. You never sell your family home to go and rent, ever," he said.
"We have to go shopping. We have to find a new home.
"We go and find a place, we buy it, we rent it and, when our lease is up, we'll go and move into it.
"We need a strategy to find a new home."
Mr Buman also criticised the incumbent councillors for failing to respond to constituents' emails.
The council closed three of Mr Buman's boarding houses in 2018 after chief executive Jeremy Bath argued they posed an "extreme" fire risk.
The closures led to three court cases, and Mr Buman said at the time that the council "hate my guts".
He once challenged council building codes over an outdoor deck at a cafe he owned and famously cut down a tree for a ratepayer who was being "mucked around by the council".
The 55-year-old contested the 2014 lord mayoral ballot won by incumbent lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes, attracting 11 per cent of the vote.
He said at the time that "the last thing" the city needed was "for a Liberal or a Labor or even a Greens mayor to bring all the politics back in'', but he has now hitched his wagon to the Liberals.
Ms Barrie will also contest Ward 2 in place of Brad Luke, the Liberals' only representative on the current council.
Katrina Wark will contest Ward 3 for the Liberals against Cr Nelmes, Labor No.2 Cr Peta Winney-Baartz, the Newcastle Independents' Dave Wild, the Greens' Sinead Francis-Coan and community newspaper publisher Mark Brooker in a vote which will have a bearing on whether Labor retains its council majority.