A method and apparatus for electing broadcast relay nodes (520B, H, M) in an ad hoc network (500). Each node (520A-520O) generates an attribute message including associated parameters. Each node (520A-520O) generates a weighted value (WV) based on the parameters. The WV can be included in the attribute message for that node, can provide a metric for ranking that node to be nominated to be a broadcast relay node, can alternatively provide a probability measure for that node to probabilistically elect itself as a broadcast relay node. The broadcast manager node (520C) receives the attribute messages and elects at least one nominated node as a broadcast relay node (520B, H, M) based on the attribute messages. Each node (520A-520O) can also initiate election of an intermediate broadcast relay node if that node fails to receive a test message within a predetermined time.