Five-way Nationals race for Lowan

FIVE candidates have nominated for Nationals pre-selection for the plum Wimmera seat of Lowan.

The five nominees are vying to fill the seat to be vacated by Lowan’s long-standing member Hugh Delahunty at November’s state election.

The Liberal Party will not contest the seat.

Nationals Victoria director Jenny Hammett said she was pleased a field of five would contest the seat but would not reveal the contenders’ names, saying the successful candidate would be announced in the second week of April.

However, four of the nominees have already been revealed by the Horsham newspaper The Wimmera Mail-Times.

They are Wimmera businesswoman Andrea Cross, Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital chief executive Emma Kealy, tipper driver and seasonal wool classer Russell McKenzie of Haven, south of Horsham, and Wimmera football development manager Bruce Petering.

Ms Cross, the chairwoman of Business Horsham, said she was a strong advocate for small business, education and women’s affairs.

Ms Kealy was born and raised in Edenhope and  returned to live in the town in 2010 after stints in the Northern Territory, Melbourne and Hamilton.

Mr McKenzie said issues such as transport, deregulation and education were his main priorities, while Mr Petering said he wanted to get rural and regional areas placed higher on the political agenda.

In other developments in the contest for Lowan, former independent candidate for Wannon in the 2010 federal election, Katrina Rainsford, of Hamilton, said she might run as an independent for Lowan if there was not enough competition of ideas between candidates for the seat.

She understood Lowan might also be contested by the Country Alliance party.

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