PARIS (AP) — France's government spokesman Christophe Castaner says he is a candidate to lead President Emmanuel Macron's recently created party.

Castaner said Wednesday on RTL radio that Macron supports his candidacy — which makes him the favorite for the job — because he is "a voice" the party needs.

Macron launched his centrist, pro-business political movement in April 2016 to support his campaign. It was changed into the more formal Republic on the Move party this year.

Its general delegate is to be elected by a council of party members next month.

Castaner is a former Socialist lawmaker who was one of the first major politicians to join Macron, then a newcomer in politics.