FORMER Warrnambool mayor Jacinta Ermacora has put her hand up for state politics, despite ruling out a potential run only a month ago.
The city councillor will run as the third-placed candidate on the Labor ticket for Western Victoria, behind incumbent MPs Gayle Tierney and Jaala Pulford, following a preselection win.
Cr Ermacora said she was honoured to be placed on the upper house card but acknowledged that victory was a “long shot”, with minor parties usually securing the fifth seat.
“I’m very pleased to be a candidate for south-west Victoria, representing our area for the Labor Party,” she said yesterday.
“With the third spot, it’s a low-key sort of position but I want this region to be properly represented and that’s why I put my name forward.”
A long-time ALP member, Cr Ermacora ruled out standing for state parliament last month as discussion centred around who would contest Liberal Premier Denis Napthine’s South West Coast lower house seat for the Labor Party.
Cr Ermacora declined to say when she was preselected for the upper house ticket or whether any other party members nominated for the position.
“That’s an internal party matter dealt with by Labor headquarters but obviously locals (local party members) were involved,” she said.
“I can’t remember the date exactly. The reason why I’m standing is we’ve seen the state government demolition of TAFE, we’ve seen young people impacted by unemployment because of those actions. The decimation of DPI (Department of Primary Industries), the DPCD (Department of Planning and Community Development) have all hit regional areas.”
A Labor candidate is yet to be preselected for South West Coast, held by the Coalition on a safe two-party preferred margin of nearly 12 per cent.
Only two candidates have indicated they will contest the seat. Premier Denis Napthine will run for the fourth time as Liberal candidate since the seat was established at the 2002 state election. Warrnambool student Thomas Campbell has been confirmed as the Greens candidate.
Cr Ermacora said she was aware of party members interested in running for the Labor Party in South West Coast but declined to comment further.
“I’m not going to go into details but that’s a matter I’m sure will be sorted out by (ALP) head office soon,” she said.
ALP state secretary Noah Carroll said last month the party had an “exemplary candidate in mind” given the high-profile nature of the seat.
“We’re still in the nomination process but we plan to be strongly represented in what is a high-profile seat,” Mr Carroll said.