Ballarat mayor Josh Morris named Western Victoria Liberal candidate

BALLARAT Mayor Josh Morris will make the jump into state politics at this year’s election despite previously ruling it out. 

Cr Morris was selected on Monday night as a Liberal Party candidate for the upper house seat in Western Victoria, which accounts for Ballarat, Horsham and the south-west region.

The open position is second on the ballot and is seen as almost a certainty to be elected into parliament at November’s election. 

The meeting to decide on the position was held by the Liberal Party Administrative Committee of which Cr Morris and Premier Denis Napthine are members. 

Speaking early on Monday, Western Victoria MP Simon Ramsay said he understood there was 12 candidates seeking preselection for the seat. 

“I am very aware of some of the people who have nominated, they have rung me and sought some advice and I have been very happy to provide that,” he said, 

“It has been somewhat overshadowed I think that the admin are also meeting to discuss the preselection for the seat of Hawthorn where it was recently announced the previous premier Ted Baillieu was vacating.”

Mr Ramsay is expected to be the first name listed on the ballot paper for the Liberal Party. 

The open position on the ticket was created after the downfall of previous candidate, former Portland resident Aaron Lane.

In tweets made between 2011 and 2012, Mr Lane liberally used derogatory terms.In an interview with The Courier in November last year Cr Morris adamantly denied he would play any part as a candidate in the upcoming election. 

VIDEO: Josh Morris tells The Courier last November he would "absolutely not" run in the 2014 state election.

Cr Morris refused to comment yesterday.

Another City of Ballarat councillor Samantha Macintosh had previously nominated for preselection for the spot, however would not comment on the position when contacted.


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