FORMER Portland resident and Geelong lawyer Aaron Lane is almost guaranteed a State Parliament seat representing Western Victoria after his successful preselection on Saturday.
Liberal MP Simon Ramsay is expected to retain his seat for Western Victoria in the upper house in the November state election, after being placed first on the Liberal Party pre-selection ballot sheet for the region.
The Legislative Council member was placed ahead of Young Liberals vice-president Mr Lane, who grew up in Portland before moving to study law in Geelong.
Mr Lane, an Institute of Public Affairs research fellow and Liberal Party member for the past decade, said he was honoured to be a successful preselection candidate and a possible second Western Victoria MP.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the western region which has been home for my entire life,” Mr Lane told The Standard.
“My role until the election will be to support the lower house MPs and candidates, particularly those in the marginal seats in the western region.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with David Koch who is retiring at this election but has given a lot to the state of Victoria and the good people of the western region.”
It is uncertain where other Liberal Party candidates, including Ballarat City councillor Samantha McIntosh, Terang solicitor Ian Pugh and former Howard government advisor Rod Nockles, were placed on the ballot.
Mr Ramsay said he was grateful to be reconsidered for a seat in Western Victoria. “You don’t take anything for granted in preselection,” Mr Ramsay said.
“Like the other candidates I made sure the delegates knew what I had been doing and the part I wanted to bring to the team.”
When asked whether his placing on the ballot paper had secured him a seat in the Legislative Council, Mr Ramsay said there were no guarantees in politics. “We will most likely go through as members in the upper house, but never say never in politics,” he said.
“There are no guarantees.”
Mr Ramsay said he was yet to be endorsed but would be later in the week.
“It is business as usual for me. I’m still a sitting member and I will continue to represent the communities in Western Victoria as best as I can,” he said.
The Liberal Party of Victoria made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
Only Mr Ramsay and Mr Lane’s ballot-paper placings were mentioned in the tweet.
Mr Ramsay said he was not at liberty to discuss where the other candidates placed.
There are five seats covering the district shared evenly by Labor and the Liberals, with one held by the Nationals.