tony lloyd rochdale labour mp simon danczuk greater manchester
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The 67-year-old was an MP from 1983 until 2012 when he won the election to become Greater Manchester's police and crime commissioner.
In 2015, he became the region's interim mayor, a post he held until Andy Burnham won the recent mayoral vote.
He said he would "look forward to... listening to the people of Rochdale".
His selection follows the decision by Labour not to endorse the constituency's former MP Simon Danczuk, who was suspended by the party in 2015 for allegedly sending explicit texts to a 17-year-old.
Mr Danczuk had held the Rochdale seat since 2010 and served as an independent MP following his suspension.
Earlier on Monday, he sent a tweet showing his letter of resignation from the Labour Party, saying it was no longer a "positive political movement".
"With frontbench spokespeople, such as John McDonnell, continually obsessing about Karl Marx, the benefits of communism and celebrating the reign of Joseph Stalin, I feel the Labour Party has totally lost touch with its social democratic values and, indeed, with reality in 21st Century Britain," he added.
No other candidates for the seat have yet been selected.