An experienced hand from a family steeped in DUP tradition. Check.
Came up through the party ranks from a young age and done the rounds at Stormont in several different departments. Check.
A politician many in the party have long seen as a potential leader? Check.
A long standing party member who has leadership aspirations himself? Well...
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph about a cancer diagnosis just two months ago, on March 1, Edwin Poots was asked about the possibility of one day leading the DUP.
“I didn’t have an interest before this, so nothing’s changed,” he said. “If you were doing Arlene’s job, you’d never get peace... being the leader would be hugely stressful, hugely problematic and not particularly desirable.”
Something has changed, then… or perhaps it is party loyalty that could see him step into those particularly undesirable shoes. A day is a short time in politics, let alone two months.
Born on April 27, 1965 and educated at Legacurry Primary, then Wallace High School in his home town of Lisburn, Edwin Poots, known as ‘Pootsy’ to friends, went on to study at Greenmount Agricultural College, a natural progression given his family’s farming background.
Brought up a devout Christian as a member of Hillsborough Free Presbyterian Church, friends will testify he still lives life on those terms.
He worked the family farm from 1983 to 1996, but another natural progression was political life.
His father Charlie was also a DUP politician at a time when the natural allegiance in James Molyneaux-dominated Lagan Valley was Ulster Unionism. The young Edwin followed his dad, though says it was the 1981 murder of South Belfast MP Rev Robert Bradford that gave him the push he needed.
The Troubles had landed at his own door before that when his father escaped injury after an INLA gunman fired at him while he was driving.
He had joined the DUP as a 16-year-old — unlike Arlene Foster and the man touted as a leadership rival, Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who both cut their political teeth in the Ulster Unionist Party.
He holds Ian Paisley as his political hero and the man who led him down the political path, away from any potential involvement with paramilitaries.
In many ways, politics has shaped his own family life too.
Married to Glynis, he met his wife when she answered the door to the young political canvasser while on the election trail.
A father-of-four, he has become a grandfather twice this year.
But it hasn’t all been plain sailing recently.
His father died at the age of 90 last April. The funeral was a quiet, small one due to the Covid restrictions.
There followed a trio of health scares — a burst appendix, contracting coronavirus, and cancer.
The first probably saved his life, as it led to the discovery of the cancer.
Undaunted, he refused to let his health issues curtail his political career and within weeks of his cancer operation he was back behind his desk as Agriculture Minister.
It had taken a while for his career to lift off, but when it did he made an immediate impression.
After just a year as a councillor in Lisburn he was making the leap into the Assembly in 1998, and it wasn’t long before greater things were expected of him.
In 2007 he was appointed Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, moving to Environment Minister in 2009 and, in perhaps his greatest political challenge to date, served as Health Minister from 2011-14.
Ask those who he has brushed shoulders with along the way, they will tell you he thrived as Culture Minister. His love of the outdoor life and sports in general making it the perfect fit. His time at Health proved more problematic, and his progress has not been without a misstep along the path.
Most recently, in October last year, he had to clarify comments that Covid-19 was spreading more widely through nationalist communities, and that the “difference between nationalist areas and unionist areas is about six to one”, prompting ridicule over “Green and orange Covid”.
During his time as Health Minister he caused uproar by maintaining a ban on blood donations from gay people
And even the woman he is primed to succeed wasn’t immune from his ‘take me as I come’ attitude.
On her election as DUP leader in 2016 Mr Poots said Arlene Foster’s most important job was “as a wife, mother and daughter”. She was said to be irked by what were viewed as sexist comments.
But she still trusted him to move into the Executive as Agriculture Minister when the Assembly got back up and running in 2020 after he clarified that his own most important job was as “a husband, father and son”.
Seen as a party veteran, though not yet having reached veteran status at 55 years of age, Poots ticks almost every box as the unwavering DUP stalwart many members feel they need.
Straight-talking, delighting some and infuriating others, those who know him well will tell you he has never made any secret of being a self-proclaimed “Marmite politician”.
“I don’t go out of my way to make myself popular with everybody,” he admitted.
“I much prefer people to have views — even those contrary to mine — and to stand up and fight for what they believe in.
"I’m very direct, and I find that a lot of my political adversaries appreciate that.”
What he believes and what others might think may be two different things entirely.
Just when it looked like a career would be bookended by agriculture, starting as a farmer, finishing as Agriculture Minister, a hasty rewrite could see more dramatic final chapters than even Mr Poots had envisaged.
More importantly, he has made it clear that despite saying two months ago Arlene Foster’s shoes would be an uncomfortable fit, he is ready to pull on his own instead and march to the front where others may fear to tread.