SOLICITOR Roy Reekie wants to run as the ALP candidate against Premier Denis Napthine in South West Coast.
Mr Reekie has put his hand up to be preselected in the seat. If successful, it will be the third time he has contested South West Coast and his fourth political tilt.
Only two other party candidates have nominated for South West Coast so far: Premier Denis Napthine for the Liberal Party and university student Thomas Campbell for the Greens.
Mr Reekie said he had expressed interest in standing as the ALP candidate, both to local branch members and the state’s party executive.
“I’m not aware of anyone else that’s involved in the preselection process,” the Warrnambool-based lawyer said.
“There’s a process to be worked through in regards to preselection but I hope it’s completed soon and we’ll be able to start campaigning.
“I feel I have a personal responsibility to stand up for my principles and to get South West Coast back into marginal seat territory.”
The Coalition holds South West Coast on a margin of nearly 12 per cent following the 2010 state election, considered by political analysts to be “very safe”.
Mr Reekie first stood as an ALP candidate for the Warrnambool electorate at the 1999 state election in the race to replace retiring National Party MP John McGrath.
Liberal MP John Vogels won in a massive swing away from the National Party and held the seat until it was abolished in 2002, integrated into the new South West Coast electorate.
Mr Reekie stood again at the 2002 state election for the newly-created seat against Portland MP Denis Napthine, who had been deposed as opposition leader.
Less than 100 votes separated Dr Napthine and Mr Reekie in one of the region’s closest electoral contests, with the former candidate ultimately successful.
Mr Reekie also contested the 2006 state election, with Dr Napthine substantially increasing his margin, pushing South West Coast into safe Coalition territory.
Portland-based union leader John Herbertson stood for the ALP at the 2010 state election, where the Baillieu government won power.