A NEW Labor party candidate for the safe Liberal seat of Polwarth is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
In April, Labor endorsed former firefighter Joe Brown to take on state Transport Minister Terry Mulder, but Mr Brown pulled out of the race last month.
Labor upper house MP for the Western Victoria region Jaala Pulford said it was disappointing a candidate like Mr Brown couldn’t continue, and that earlier reports he had been dumped by the party were incorrect.
“Joe Brown is a strong voice for Labor in the south-west and a passionate campaigner for quality healthcare, schools and jobs. Joe suffered a terrible injury in his work as a firefighter,” Ms Pulford said.
“Sadly, some ongoing health issues mean that continuing to be our Polwarth candidate has not been possible for Joe, however he and I look forward to joining our new candidate on the campaign trail.”
The Standard reported last month it was believed Mr Brown had been dumped by the party after all references to him disappeared from social media and party websites and documents without explanation.
The Standard tried to contact ALP state headquarters more than 10 times over a week-long period to find out why Mr Brown was no longer listed as a candidate, but phone calls were not answered and messages not returned.
Attempts were also made to contact Mr Brown, who took to social media on Sunday night saying he was unable to be contacted because he didn’t wish to speak to The Standard.
Ms Pulford said a new candidate for the seat would be announced some time in the next two weeks.
Mr Mulder holds the seat with a massive 13 per cent margin and it is one of the few seats that Labor has never won.
Polwarth extends east from Panmure and includes Mortlake, Terang, Camperdown, Port Campbell, Timboon, Cobden, Lismore and Derrinallum.