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In an column published online on the National Business Review this afternoon, Mr Hooton also said he would not set up a new right wing political party as had also been speculated.
Mr Hooton said Act needed to stand on its own two feet and differentiate itself from National rather being perceived as "a subsidiary of the bigger brand".
"The people to take it forward are those with history in the party, not ring-ins from National, like Don Brash, John Banks, Michelle Boag or me".
Mr Hooton endorsed management consultant Jamie Whyte who is seeking both the Act leadership and the Epsom nomination as the best choice for leader and long-time Act member David Seymour as the best choice to stand in Epsom.
"Both are undoubtedly Act deep in their souls, not mere darker shades of National blue."
Mr Hooton's column comes a day after former Act Leader and Epsom MP Rodney Hide used his Herald On Sunday column to announce he would not seek the nomination.
Other than Mr Whyte and Mr Seymour who have confirmed they will seek the nod for Act in Epsom, former Act President Chris Simmons is also considering running for the job.